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Twitter removes Home Minister Amit Shah’s display photo citing copyright violation and locks account, calls it ‘inadvertent error’

Just as Twitter removed Amit Shah's profile picture, the micro-blogging site has also removed BJP MP Subramanian Swamy's Twitter image citing 'copyright' issues.

The microblogging site – Twitter on Thursday removed the Twitter display picture of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in response to a “report from the copyright holder” inviting severe criticism from the citizens of the country. On Thursday night, a message was displayed on the display image section of Home Minister Amit Shah’s Twitter profile saying “Media not displayed”. The micro-blogging site stated in the message that the picture has been removed after someone claimed ‘copyright’ on it.

Twitter had locked Home Minister Amit Shah’s account after the copyright claim on his display image, which was a part of his official portrait according to Shah’s website.

Such action is generally taken if an individual claims copyright on the image that is being used by someone in their Twitter profile. However, so far, it was assumed that such action would only be taken after basic verification of such claims.

Image Source: Amit Shah

However, as soon as the netizens began to question Twitter’s unilateral action without apparent verification, the micro-blogging site reinstated Amit Shah’s display picture.

Home Minister Amit Shah is the second most followed leader in the country on Twitter after Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has 23.6 million followers. The Home Minister follows only 296 people.

The action by Twitter seems unilateral since if one visits the webpage of Amit Shah, one sees that the picture that was being used as a display picture is a part of his official portrait. Hence, it would seem impossible that anyone else could hold the copyright for it.

Amit Shah’s website – amitshah.co.in

After locking Twitter account of Amit Shah, microblogging website issues clarification – calls it inadvertent error

On Friday morning, Twitter issued a clarification calling this action taken by it against Amit Shah’s Twitter profile an ‘inadvertent error’.

A Twitter spokesperson said, “Due to an inadvertent error, we temporarily locked this account under our global copyright policies. This decision was reversed immediately and the account is fully functional”.

Twitter removes BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s display picture

Just as Twitter removed Amit Shah’s profile picture, the micro-blogging site has also removed BJP MP Subramanian Swamy’s Twitter image citing ‘copyright’ issues.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy took to Twitter to allege that his Twitter photo was taken off because some unknown Bangladeshi had claimed that photo was patented by him.

Tweet by Subramanian Swamy

According to Swamy’s supporters, Twitter had removed Swamy’s image without verification. However, it later restored after Swamy’s team brought the issue into their notice.

Interestingly, Twitter’s action against Amit Shah and Subramanian Swamy comes just a day after the Modi government had issued a notice to them for distorting India’s map and infringing on country’s sovereignty.

Twitter gets notice for map distortion

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has issued a notice to social media giant Twitter for distorting the map of India. The notice has been issued after it was found that Twitter was showing Leh as part of Jammu and Kashmir, instead of the Union Territory of Ladakh.

The micro-blogging site has been asked to explain why legal action should not be initiated against it for disrespecting India’s territorial integrity. The notice was issued on November 9 and gave five days to Twitter to submit its reply.

The Ministry notice says that showing Leh as part of Jammu and Kashmir is a deliberate attempt by Twitter to undermine the will of sovereign Parliament of India, which had declared Ladakh as a Union Territory of India with headquarter in Leh.

The Ministry has also directed Twitter to explain within five working days why legal action should not be initiated against Twitter and its representatives for disrespecting the territorial integrity of India.

The matter came to notice after defence analyst Nitin Gokhale had noticed on October 20 that Twitter was marking his location Leh as being part of Jammu of Kashmir.

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