The Congress on Thursday questioned why no action had been taken against the BJP’s chief of information technology by Twitter for seemingly the same violation that led to restrictions on the social media accounts of the party, its leader Rahul Gandhi and scores of its members.
Srinivas BV, chief of the Congress’s youth wing, shared a post by the BJP’s Amit Malviya that appeared to reveal the identity of a rape victim from Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras last year – an offence under the same law that is believed to have prompted action against Rahul Gandhi.
“Modi ji se permission nahi mili kya? (No permission from Modi ji?),” he asked from his handle that had changed its name and photo along with many others to Rahul Gandhi’s in a show of support for the party leader.
The post was part of a massive campaign by members of the Congress to take on Twitter after the party said its official handles and those of around 5,000 of its leaders and workers have been locked.
The party accused the social media giant of “selective” action against Rahul Gandhi and others for posting photographs that show Mr Gandhi interacting with the family of the 9-year-old Dalit girl who was allegedly raped and killed in Delhi last week.
This morning’s Instagram post contained a screenshot of the Congress’ account and a message from Twitter that said it had been locked because it “violated Twitter rules” regarding publishing or posting other people’s private information without their express authorisation and permission”.
“Modiji, just how afraid are you? Reminder: The Congress party fought for our nation’s independence, equipped only with truth, non-violence & the will of the people. We won then, we’ll win again,” the Congress said.
Twitter has said its rules are “enforced judiciously and impartially for everyone”, and that it took “proactive action on several hundred tweets that posted an image that violated our Rules”.
The company said it was alerted by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, or NCPCR, “about specific content on our platform that allegedly revealed the identity of an alleged sexual assault victim’s (and a minor’s) parents”.
“We reviewed it against Twitter Rules and policies, as well as the concerns expressed as a matter of the Indian law…” a company spokesperson said, adding, “… If a tweet is found to be in violation of the Twitter Rules, and has yet to be deleted by the account holder, we hide it behind a notice and the account remains locked until the tweet is removed or the appeal is successfully processed.”
According to the ‘help’ section on Twitter’s website, a ‘locked’ account means the user cannot tweet and “can only send Direct Messages to followers”. The user “will not be able to engage in actions such as tweeting, retweeting, or liking, and only followers can see past tweets.”