Days after Twitter blocked his account and several other party leaders, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday alleged that the microblogging site is a “biased platform” and follows the government’s directions.
In a video statement, the Congress leader questioned if India would let a company define the politics of the country.
“A company is making its business to define our politics and as a politician, I don’t like that. This is an attack on the democratic structure of the country. This is not an attack on Rahul Gandhi, this is not simply shutting Rahul Gandhi down,” the Member of Parliament from Kerala’s Wayanad said.
Gandhi claimed that taking sides in a political context will have repercussions for Twitter, as it will breach the idea that the microblogging site is a neutral platform.
“I have 19-20 million followers, and you are denying them the right to an opinion. It’s not only patently unfair but also breaching the idea that Twitter is a neutral platform. For investors, it’s a very dangerous thing. Taking sides in a political context has repercussions for Twitter,” he stated.
He further claimed that the democracy of the country is under attack and alleged that the Opposition is not allowed to speak in Parliament.
“We are not allowed to speak in Parliament. The media is controlled and I thought there was a ray of light where we could put what we thought on Twitter. But obviously, that’s not the case. It’s obviously not a neutral objective platform. It’s a biased platform and it listens to what the government of the day says. As Indians, we have to ask the question that are we going to allow the companies just because they are beholden to the Government of India. Is that what’s we have come to, or are we going to define our politics on our own? That’s the question,” he added.
On Thursday, clarifying its position regarding blocking accounts of Congress party and several of its leaders, Twitter said its rules are enforced judiciously and impartially for everyone on its service.
In a statement, a Twitter spokesperson said the microblogging site it will continue to take proactive action if its rules are violated.
“The Twitter Rules are enforced judiciously and impartially for everyone on our service. 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. We strongly encourage everyone on the service to familiarise themselves with the Twitter Rules and report anything they believe is in violation,” the spokesperson said.
Citing the reason behind blocking accounts, the company said it was alerted by National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) about specific content on the 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,” stated the spokesperson.
“As explained in our Help Center, if a Tweet was 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,” they added.
Prior to that, after blocking the official accounts of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and other senior party leaders, Twitter on Thursday also blocked the official handle of the Indian National Congress (INC) for violating the rules of the microblogging site.
The Congress earlier said the Twitter account of party leader Rahul Gandhi has been temporarily suspended and he will stay connected through other social media platforms and continue to raise the voice of people.