Updated: August 14, 2021 12:30:46 am
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Friday accused Twitter of “interfering in the national political process”, saying the suspension of his handle amounted to an “attack on the country’s democratic structure”.
In a video statement on YouTube titled “Twitter’s dangerous game”, Gandhi alleged that the microblogging site was not a neutral or objective platform and was “beholden to the government”.
The Congress leader said Indians need to ask whether companies “beholden to the government” could define their politics for them.
“By shutting down my Twitter they are interfering in our political process. A company is making its business define our politics. And as a politician I don’t like that,” he said.
Terming the temporary suspension as an “attack on the democratic structure of the country”, Gandhi 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.”
Twitter temporarily suspended Gandhi’s account last week. This was after a notice from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), asking it to act against the Congress leader’s handle for tweeting pictures of the family of a minor victim of alleged rape and murder in Delhi last week. The NCPCR had cited the juvenile justice law that mandates the privacy of minor victims.
Twitter later locked Gandhi’s account and several other handles belonging to party leaders including the official Congress handle for tweeting the same pictures as Gandhi.
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 identity of victims” of the family of the nine-year-old girl.
Gandhi has also shared an image saying “Digital Dadagiri nahi chalegi” on Instagram. He also shared his video message on Instagram.
Twitter on Thursday said if a post is found to violate its rules and is not deleted by the account holder, the platform hides it behind a notice and the account remains locked until that tweet is removed or the appeal is successfully processed.
A Twitter spokesperson said the company’s rules are enforced judiciously and impartially for everyone in its service.
“Our democracy is under attack. We are not allowed to speak in Parliament. The media is controlled. And I thought there was a ray of light where we could put what we thought on Twitter. But obviously, that’s not the case,” Gandhi said.
Congress had alleged Thursday that Twitter had not acted against similar posts by statutory commissions and BJP leaders
Sharing Rahul Gandhi’s statement, 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.
Twitter has denied all allegations.
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