Congress accuses Twitter of ‘double standards’ for allegedly locking 5000 accounts of party leaders and workers

Congress accuses Twitter of ‘double standards’ for allegedly locking 5000 accounts of party leaders and workers
  • Twitter has locked the accounts of some of the prominent Congress leaders.
  • The opposition party is accusing Twitter of “double standards” and also calling it a victim of intimidation by the ruling regime.
  • The social media giant had recently complied with India’s controversial IT laws introduced by the Narendra Modi government.
Twitter India has locked the official accounts of India’s leading opposition party Indian National Congress and around 5000 handles of its leaders and workers, said the party on Thursday. This comes soon after the controversy around former party president Rahul Gandhi's Twitter account was blocked for sharing photographs with the family of the nine-year-old Dalit girl who was allegedly raped and murdered last week in Delhi.

The reason behind Twitter's action is the notice from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, which directed Twitter to delete Rahul Gandhi's tweet. As per the law, the Juvenile Justice Act and the POCSO Act — it's illegal to disclose any information revealing the identity of a minor through any medium.

As expected, the mass blocking of accounts provoked the Congress party members. The opposition party has accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of intimidating Twitter, by sharing instances where similar images were tweeted by accounts belonging to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and BJP’s member of parliament (MP) Anju Bala, but no action was taken.
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"Twitter is clearly acting under government pressure... it did not remove the same pictures shared by the accounts of National Commission for Scheduled Castes for a few days," All India Congress Committee’s (AICC) social media head Rohan Gupta told news agency PTI.

The opposition party leaders have also alleged Twitter of adopting "double standards" in this case.

One of the prominent Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor, who is a Lok Sabha MP, tweeted, "the perception of double standards makes matters worse. When a BJP national spokesman posted a picture of the Hathras rape victim (violating Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code) @Twitter did not lock his account. SC Commission posted a pic of the victim’s family 2 Aug; no action.”

“Action taken against a prominent Opposition leader raises obvious concerns of selectivity&bias. I urge @Twitter to restore @RahulGandhi’s account, review the policy of automatic suspensions & show more sensitivity to public concerns. Focus on what happened to the girl, not a pic!” said Tharoor.

Twitter is silent

Twitter has not released any official statement on the matter. The social media giant has been a part of several controversies in recent months. Just a day ago, a lawyer representing the Indian government told the Delhi High Court that Twitter has made the social network “prima facie” compliant with the new IT laws.

As per the 'help' section on Twitter's website, a user with a 'locked' account cannot post tweets, retweet or interact. Users can only send direct messages to followers.

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