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‘Twitter is neither investigator nor judge, but trying to pretend it is both’: Delhi Police come down heavily on social media giant

The Delhi Police stated that under the guise of "terms of service" Twitter Inc is trying to adjudicate whether publicly available documents are authentic or fake (Congress toolkit). It added that Twitter in this case is trying to act as both investigator and judge while it has no legal sanction to be either.

The Delhi Police have issued a sharp rebuttal to the statements released by Twitter regarding the Congress toolkit case and its aftermath. Slamming the actions of the social media behemoth heavily, the Delhi Police have stated that Twitter’s statements doing rounds in media are not just mendacious but they are actively trying to impede a lawful inquiry.

The police’s press statement was shared by TOI’s Rohan Dua.

The Delhi Police further stated that under the guise of “terms of service” Twitter Inc is trying to adjudicate whether publicly available documents are authentic or fake (Congress toolkit). It added that Twitter in this case is trying to act as both investigator and judge while it has no legal sanction to be either.

The statement further read, the only legal entities authorised to investigate the issue is the police and to judge the veracity of the documents is the Courts.

The Delhi Police further stated that the preliminary complaint regarding the issue was registered at the behest of the Congress party, but Twitter has tried to show that it is an FIR registered by the Govt of India, which is completely false.

Twitter has material information but refuses to share it with lawful authorities: Delhi Police

They further stated that while the matter was under investigation by the police, Twitter decided to brand the document as ‘manipulated media’. This means that Twitter was acquainted with the case and has material information that was needed by a law enforcement agency. Thus, Twitter was asked by the Delhi Police, by multiple communications, to join the investigation. They added that Twitter is legally bound to share the information with the police and there can be no confusions regarding this.

The police stated that Twitter was sent a notice asking them to join in the investigation, but Twitter India’s managing director chose to be evasive rather than co-operate.

Deer caught in headlights

The police statement further stated that Twitter India’s MD has claimed that he is merely a sales head and has no role regarding content. However, these claims are contradictory to the Twitter MD’s own earlier press interactions where he had discussed the company’s plans to devise methods to identify abusive and manipulative content. Twitter India’s ‘convoluted’ stance is similar to that of a deer caught in headlights, the police statement read.

Further, the Delhi Police called out the contrived fear-mongering by Twitter, calling it misplaced and unfounded. Twitter India’s MD was merely served a notice, to participate in an inquiry, he was not ‘accused’ because Twitter (by adding the manipulated media tag) had claimed to possess information regarding the case.

The statement concluded by adding that Twitter India’s latest statements are devised to seek dubious sympathy when they themselves not only refuse to comply with the law of the land but also claim to possess material evidence in an ongoing police investigation but refuse to share it with the competent legal authorities.

It is notable here that Congress had recently withdrawn the complaint from Delhi and filed it in Chhattisgarh, where they run the state government. Further, they had written to Twitter, asking the social media company to take action against Union Ministers.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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