Rahul Gandhi reacts after social media platform Twitter blocks his account
Now major Opposition party Congress is picking fights with Twitter. Days after the temporary suspension of his Twitter account, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday accused the US-based microblogging giant of “interfering in the national political process” and said shutting down of his handle amounted to an “attack on the country’s democratic structure”. Intensifying the Congress offensive against Twitter, Gandhi, in a video statement on YouTube titled “Twitter’s dangerous game”, alleged that it was not a neutral and objective platform and was “beholden to the government.”
Questioning Twitter’s action, Gandhi said the company was denying millions of his followers the right to an opinion, which was unfair. Congress leaders accuse Twitter of obliging to Narendra Modi Government. Rahul faced troubles with Twitter after the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) filed a complaint against the Congress leader for uploading photos with parents of a nine-year-old girl raped and murdered in Delhi. Rahul Gandhi visited the Dalit victim girl’s home and uploaded photos with the family was termed as against the laws of identifying the victims.
Protesting against Twitter’s action, many Congress leaders posted the photos uploaded by Rahul Gandhi and Twitter also locked their accounts.
“It’s obvious now that Twitter is actually not a neutral, objective platform. It is a biased platform. It’s something that listens to what the government of the day says,” Rahul alleged. Terming the temporary suspension as an “attack on the democratic structure of the country”, he said,” This is not an attack on Rahul Gandhi. This is not you know simply shutting Rahul Gandhi down. I have 19-20 million followers. You are denying them the right to an opinion. That’s what you are doing.”
Taking a swipe at Gandhi over the issue, the BJP said the Congress leader has been shown the door from the only place he was active and he should use the new social media rules enforced by the Modi Government to restore the account. Addressing a press conference, BJP MP and the party’s youth wing president Tejasvi Surya said the same Congress was crying hoarse and attacking the government when it framed the new rules to “empower” social media platform users.
Protesting against Twitter’s action, many Congress leaders posted the photos uploaded by Rahul Gandhi and Twitter also locked their accounts. Congress accuses Twitter has locked around 50,000 handles of Congress workers.
Also on Friday, NCPCR wrote to Facebook and Instagram about violation of Indian laws on their platforms after Gandhi shared posts on these platforms “revealing the identity of victims” of the family of the nine-year-old girl. Rahul has also shared an image saying “Digital Dadagiri nahi chalegi” on Instagram. He also shared his video message on Instagram.
A Twitter spokesperson said the company’s rules are enforced judiciously and impartially for everyone in its service. However, the former Congress chief alleged that suspension of his account is not only patently unfair, but it is also a breach of the idea that Twitter is a neutral platform. “For the investors, this is a very dangerous thing because taking sides in the political contest has repercussions for Twitter,” he said.
Sharing Rahul Gandhi’s statement, sister and AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra accused Twitter of interfering in the Indian political process. “The most serious issue is that a company is interfering in the political process of this country for its business, is helping the government to suppress the voice of crores of people of India,” she said in a tweet in Hindi.
A company spokesperson on Thursday said, “We have taken proactive action on several hundred tweets that posted an image that violated our rules and may continue to do so in line with our range of enforcement options. Certain types of private information carry higher risks than others and our aim is always to protect individual privacy and safety.”
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