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Twitter defends itself against allegation of political bias in India

Twitter India has defended itself against accusation of bias in a series of tweets, after controversy continues over the social media platform's policies and their implementation.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi | Published: November 7, 2019 5:26:23 pm
Twitter, Twitter Sanjay Hegde account, Twitter rules, twitter policy in India, Twitter verification, Twitter controversy Twitter has defended its policies, including enforcement of its rules after facing controversy and allegation of bias in India. 

Twitter India has defended itself against accusation of bias in a series of tweets, after controversy continues over the social media platform’s policies and their implementation. Twitter has come under attack for suspending the account of Supreme Court senior advocate Sanjay Hegde, whose account was suspended for 2017 tweet. Hegde was told that his account will not be restored in email by Twitter, which said the account was being suspended for violating Twitter’s Terms of Service, specifically the Twitter Rules against using hateful or sensitive content in user profile.

Hegde’s suspension has also seen an outpouring of support from activists on Twitter, many of whom have issued a called to boycott the platform and switch to another social network called ‘Mastodon’. Others have also pointed out the issue of verification on Twitter with some accounts being verified, though Twitter says that all public verifications are closed at the moment.

In its tweet, Twitter has defended itself saying they are “impartial and do not take action based upon any ideology or political viewpoint.” The tweet thread goes on to add, “Twitter’s commitment to inclusion and diversity is fundamental to who we are and crucial to the effectiveness of our service. Voices from across the spectrum can be seen and heard on Twitter and we are committed to the principles of openness, transparency, and impartiality.”

The company also said they have one set of rules, and that their policies are enforced “judiciously and impartially for all individuals — regardless of their belief or background.” They said each tweet and account is reviewed on its own merit when brought to their notice for any possible violation.

Twitter also denied any caste or religious-based bias saying that their specialised global team that enforces its rules, is trained in topics such as religion and caste. This is done to provide them with necessary local context, which is needed to evaluate the content.

The statement also said that any media depicting hateful imagery is not permitted within live video, account bio, profile or header images. “Twitter has a higher standard in some areas like profile or header images, where there is limited context (unlike a tweet that may contain an image with accompanying text),”it added.

Regarding the public verification, Twitter once again reiterated that this was closed and they are reviewing the entire program. But added that on a limited case-by-case basis, they do verify public figures who are active in the public conversation.

“We are committed to serving an open public conversation in India and we will continue to be transparent in our efforts,” ends the thread.

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