Updated: June 5, 2021 4:01:27 pm
Twitter on Saturday withdrew the blue verified badge from personal Twitter handles of Vice-President of India M Venkaiah Naidu and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. While it was restored on Naidu’s account within a few hours, an RSS spokesperson said it was not a good move on the part of Twitter.
“We have taken cognisance of the matter and are looking into it,” an RSS spokesperson said. Bhagwat’s handle has 209k followers and he has not tweeted anything since he joined it.
Sources in the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh said Bhagwat’s account had remained inactive because there are established channels of communication in the Sangh set-up and statements are issued only through those channels.
“The account was sought to be verified earlier as there are multiple fake accounts in the name of Bhagwat ji on Twitter. We wanted to make sure that statements issued through those accounts are not mistaken as official statements from him. This is not a good move by Twitter,” an RSS office-bearer said.
Meanwhile, regarding Naidu’s handle, sources at Twitter indicated that the blue tick had gotten removed as the personal account of the Vice- President had remained inactive since July last year. An official statement from the platform is awaited.
Naidu’s Twitter handle — @MVenkaiahNaidu — has 1.3 million followers. The last tweet from his account was on July 23, 2020, which shows the vice-president is not active on his personal account since then.
Naidu is, however, active from his official handle of Vice President of India — @VPSecretariat — which continues to have a blue badge. It has 931.3k followers.
The matter was questioned by BJP Mumbai spokesperson Suresh Nakhua, who termed Twitter’s move as an “assault on the Constitution of India”. “Why did @Twitter @TwitterIndia remove Blue tick from the handle of Vice President of India Shri @MVenkaiahNaidu ji? This is an assault of Constitution of India,” tweeted Nakhua.
This is assault of Constitution of India. pic.twitter.com/CBQviuBa3x
— Suresh Nakhua (𝐏𝐥 𝐰𝐞𝐚𝐫 𝐌𝐀𝐒𝐊) (@SureshNakhua) June 4, 2021
The blue verified badge on Twitter shows that an account is authentic and for getting the badge, the particular account must be authentic, notable, and active.
According to Twitter, it may remove the blue verified badge and verified status of a Twitter account without notice if an account changes its username (@handle) or becomes inactive or incomplete. It can also happen if the owner of the account is no longer for which position they were initially verified and do not otherwise meet our criteria for verification since leaving such position.
Earlier this year in January, Twitter had said it would restart its verification program for important accounts after a gap of three years. It had then also said that the blue tick, which indicates that the user is verified, would be removed from such accounts which remained inactive for a certain period or which no longer met the requirements.
As per the new verification policy announced in January this year, Twitter introduced new categories by recognising verified status for companies, brands, media outlets, journalists, entertainment figures, and sports-related accounts. The company had in its blog post also said that it reserved the right to remove the verification or blue tick from accounts that repeatedly violated its rules and policies.
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