Twitter India has not been having a great time, especially after its recent tiff with the Central government over compliance of new IT rules. After it finally agreed to follow the rule of the land, Twitter recently removed a tweet of senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi after he revealed identity of a minor rape victim, in violation of POCSO (Protection of Children against Sexual Offences) Act.
Now it turns out the social media giant has locked out party’s official account and accounts of other party leaders who had shared the same image of the rape victim’s parents with Rahul Gandhi which violated the POCSO Act.
After all this, the party has claimed that Twitter is acting on behalf of the Central government and is accusing it of suppressing the freedom of speech.
Congress says Twitter has blocked its account for violation of rules— ANI (@ANI) August 12, 2021
Twitter acting under govt pressure. It has already blocked 5000 accounts of our leaders&workers across India. They need to understand we can’t be pressurised by Twitter or govt:Rohan Gupta,Social Media Head,AICC pic.twitter.com/pP8fgqwroO
Now, let us get one thing straight. Law of the land is equal for all. Just because you are a political party in the opposition does not mean any action against you is on behest of the Central government.
Before we begin, let me also speak about the said case of alleged rape and murder of the little girl in Delhi. The incident was first reported on August 2, but it was only on August 4 it became talking point amongst the politicians because one of the accused was a Hindu priest. However, by now, the rape case has taken a backseat because another accused in the same case is one Salim, who allegedly hid his religious identity.
Now, all the drama by Congress has morphed into Twitter account restriction and the ’cause’ of rape and murder of a young girl has been forgotten.
But this is not it. Sources in Congress IT cell had earlier told OpIndia that this step by Twitter has embarrassed them because they never thought it would take step against them. Earlier, the platform has allowed itself to be used for fearmongering ahead of 26th January 2021 Republic Day celebrations to portray that PM Modi had ordered ‘genocide‘ of farmers’. Popular Twitter users like actor Sushant Singh who is part of online bullying group called ‘Team Saath’ had also indulged in spreading fear that PM Modi had ordered genocide of farmers.
Hence, since Twitter had allowed those tweets on its platform and even restored the accounts that violated the user policy, Congress leaders never thought that Twitter would take any step against Rahul Gandhi. After all, Twitter has made it very clear that its employees have left-leaning bias. Top Twitter employees in India have quite often tweeted against PM Modi and in favour of Rahul Gandhi. In fact, Jack Dorsey, Twitter chief, on his visit to India had even met Rahul Gandhi and spoke about ‘tackling fake news menace‘.
Hence, after this little stunt by Twitter, many are left wondering if this is just another attempt at shadow boxing by Twitter so that when it takes action against non-Left Twitter users or even against BJP leaders, it can appear ‘neutral’.
Twitter temporarily locking some Congress accounts and Congress making disproportionate noise over it just to provide cover to Twitter later with they are politically neutral excuse…— Gappistan Radio (@GappistanRadio) August 11, 2021
Many Twitter users echoed similar thoughts. Many even thought that this could be a prelude to upcoming high stake elections like Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat and subsequently the 2024 General Elections.