Rahul Gandhi is upset because his follower count is stuck. And hence, like a whiney social media influencer he has written to the social networking giant claiming that at one point, before he violated POCSO Act by publishing image of a minor rape victim and revealing her identity against the law of the land, he used to get 8-10 thousand followers a day. But now, hardly any.
Now, months after that, while PM Modi was busy thanking prominent personalities across the world telling them how great India is and thanking them for being good friends of our great nation, Rahul Gandhi was busy whining to Twitter how he was losing his bot followers. Apparently, on 27th December 2021, when Rahul Gandhi was vacationing in undisclosed location, he also wrote a letter to the new Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal. In the letter he identified himself as leader of India’s largest opposition party.
Rahul Gandhi claimed an assault on India’s institutional framework and ‘complete capture of traditional mainstream media’. Essentially, Rahul Gandhi was upset that mainstream media no longer toes the Congress line and there are people outside of these places who are questioning them. And The Family does not like it.
Anyway, after speaking about importance of Twitter as social media platform and its responsibility of keeping ‘authoritarian powers’ away, Rahul Gandhi cries that his follower count is stuck ever since he broke Indian laws. When there are important elections coming up in states like Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa, Rahul Gandhi was busy keeping tab of his follower count and making complex calculations on how he got over 6 lakh followers in May 2021 and since August 2021, his new monthly followers are almost down to zero.
Our boy hasn’t been able to win elections in longest time, his loyalists are leaving Congress and joining the BJP, the party he has vowed to destroy, but his concern right now is his stuck Twitter follower count.
Aag lage basti mein, Rahul Gandhi apni masti mein (The village could be on fire, but Rahul Gandhi is busy enjoying himself).
Twitter, however, has now said that it regularly takes actions against manipulation and spam accounts and hence, it may be reflecting on the follower count. Essentially, Twitter told Rahul Gandhi that the bots he mistook as popularity was not their fault.
This was the third time Rahul Gandhi was shadowboxing with Twitter. In August 2021, Rahul Gandhi had compromised the identity of a 9-year-old rape victim.
Gandhi’s actions violated the Juvenile Justice Act, and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act that bars everyone from revealing the identity of a minor victim in any format, including print, television and online platforms. Acting on the notice issued by NCPCR, Twitter removed Gandhi’s tweet and locked his account for violation of its rules. Subsequently, the same was removed by Twitter as it violated its user policy.
Twitter had ‘locked’ his account temporarily till he removed the contentious post. However, Congress and its minions had whined that Rahul Gandhi’s account was ‘suspended’. Even back then Twitter had clarified that his account was not suspended but post was ‘removed’ because it compromised identity of a minor rape victim.
Twitter informs DelhiHC that Rahul Gandhi's tweet violated their policy during hearing PIL seeking direction to National Commission for Protection of Child Rights&police to take action against him for his tweet allegedly disclosing identity of Delhi minor rape-murder victim's kin pic.twitter.com/BYRQWzkQgS— ANI (@ANI) August 11, 2021
Twitter had also put up a notice that said that a tweet on Rahul Gandhi’s account has been removed.
The notice displayed after Twitter pulled the tweet down by Rahul Gandhi said “this tweet is no longer available”. This notice essentially meant that Twitter, on its own, had pulled the tweet down and made it unavailable to the public.
However, just days later, after Congress cried foul and accused social media giant of bias, Congress bowed and removed the notice, thereby making the tweet compromising identity of a minor rape victim public again if accessed from browser outside of India. In India it continued to stand withheld.
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.
Days later, Rahul Gandhi released a short video on his YouTube channel where he again alleged that Twitter was interfering in India’s politics by shutting down his account. “A company is making its business to define our politics. And as a politician, I don’t like it,” Gandhi said.
Sources in Congress IT cell had then told OpIndia that this move by Twitter had embarrassed Congress and Rahul Gandhi as they never thought the social media giant would take any step against the leader. 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‘.
In August 2021 he did not want Twitter to interfere in Indian politics, but in April 2021 he wanted the US to save India‘s democracy and not to stay silent, thereby asking for America’s intervention in India’s internal matters. And now, suddenly he says it is Twitter’s responsibility to ‘hold government accountable’. And for that, the bots shall be allowed to follow Rahul Gandhi on Twitter.
In his letter to Agrawal, Rahul Gandhi mentions how before August 2021 he had not received any correspondence from Twitter about anyone reporting his handle. “This is curious since political opponents must have complained on numerous occasions – it is part of their job,” he claimed. This is interesting: Either Rahul Gandhi thinks way too highly of himself that political opponents (read: Modi government) will focus all their energies on an MP who lost his family seat after decades and had to go for a ‘safe seat’ in Wayanad or it is an admission that Rahul Gandhi and his party spend all their spare hours complaining about accounts of opposition politicians.
Rahul Gandhi then compared the average engagement of his posts and his follower count with that of other politicians. This is way too much free time, one must say. He then claimed his lack of bot followers was selective censorship on Twitter. It even appended a graph comparing his follower count with that of PM Modi, HM Amit Shah and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor.
In mindboggling stats, he also shared weekly analysis of follower count and compared them with the other leaders. If he would have spent this much time analysing his party’s shortcomings, the grand old party would not have reduced itself to a joke.
Rahul Gandhi wants the world to believe that Narendra Modi is some sort of comic book villain out to control the world and Rahul Gandhi is some superhero who can save the world but if Modi government were even 1% of the fascist they are made to appear, all the dissidents would have been jailed the way his grandmother did it in the past.
Perhaps if Rahul Gandhi starts posting videos of himself cooking or his Pidi dancing, maybe things will improve and he could gain followers as social media influencer at least.