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Friday, September 17, 2021

Twitter restores accounts of Rahul Gandhi, Congress

"Satyameva Jayate (truth alone triumphs)", the Congress tweeted in its first reaction after its official handle was unlocked. Gandhi was yet to post anything till Saturday night.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: August 15, 2021 3:44:27 am
Rahul Gandhi's Twitter was temporarily suspended for sharing pictures of the family of a nine-year-old victim of alleged rape and murder in Northwest Delhi.

TWITTER Saturday restored the account of Rahul Gandhi, along with those of the Congress party and its other leaders. Gandhi’s account was restored after he submitted a consent letter from the family of a victim of alleged rape and murder in the city for use of images, over which he had faced action from the microblogging site. However, Twitter said it will continue to withhold the posts containing the images, as they violate India’s laws.

“Satyameva Jayate (truth alone triumphs)”, the Congress tweeted in its first reaction after its official handle was unlocked. Gandhi was yet to post anything till Saturday night.

Congress general secretary Randeep Surjewala, whose Twitter account was among those locked, told The Sunday Express: “All handles have now been unlocked by Twitter. Our stand to fight for freedom and rights of India’s daughters has been vindicated with this unlocking.”

The Congress said it would continue to raise its voice for justice for the victims of tyranny and atrocities.

After the accounts were unlocked, the party as well as some Congress leaders put up the hashtag “Speak Up against Twitter’s hypocrisy”. One of the statements shared by party leaders said, “The people of India demand accountability from Twitter. We demand that your restore the locked accounts that were simply demanding justice for a rape victim and stop interfering in our politics because of your fear of the Modi government.”

The accounts had ostensibly all been locked for tweeting pictures of the family of a nine-year-old victim of alleged rape and murder in Delhi. While the accounts have been unlocked, the contentious pictures and tweets are not visible. Earlier, while Gandhi could access his account, he could not post any new tweet, and could log in only to remove the controversial tweet posted on August 4. “This Tweet from @RahulGandhi has been withheld in India in response to a legal demand,” says a message in the place of the tweet on Gandhi’s Twitter timeline.

Under Indian law, the identity of a juvenile victim of sexual assault cannot be disclosed.

Saying the tweet with the photograph in question would remain hidden as it is against Indian law, Twitter Saturday said, “As part of the appeal process, @RahulGandhi has submitted a copy of the formal consent/authorisation letter to use the referenced image via our India Grievance Channel. The Tweet is now withheld in India and the account access has been restored.”

Attacking the Twitter action, Gandhi had Friday accused the platform of “interfering in the national political process” and said shutting down of his handle amounted to an “attack on the country’s democratic structure”. “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,” he said.

Denying any bias, Twitter had earlier 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 individuals’ privacy and safety.”

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