Police visit Twitter offices to serve notice on his country’s chief executive after the social media giant branded the BJP spokesperson’s post as “manipulated media”.
Police in the Indian capital have filed a notice at the offices of Twitter, requesting information for a complaint over why a tweet from the spokesperson of the ruling Hindu Nationalist Party was labeled as “manipulated media”.
Last week, leaders of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shared on Twitter parts of a document they said was created by the main opposition Congress and highlighted government failures in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Congress complained to Twitter saying the document was fake, after which the US company flagged some of the posts – including one from BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra – as “manipulated media”.
New Delhi Police said on Monday evening they had received a complaint about the classification of Patra’s tweet, which they were investigating, adding that a team of officials had visited a Twitter office to notify the investigation.
“This was necessary as we wanted to determine who is the right person to serve notice (to) as responses from Twitter India MD have been very ambiguous,” a police statement said, referring to the chief executive of the agency. ‘business.
Twitter says it applies its “manipulated media” tag to posts “that include media (videos, audio, and images) that have been altered or deceptively fabricated.”
A leading fact-checking organization, AltNews, said it analyzed the documents and claimed some were created with a fake header.
Twitter declined to comment on the matter.
Reporting from New Delhi, Al Jazeera’s Elizabeth Puranam said Delhi police visited Twitter offices in the capital and nearby Gurugram on Monday evening.
“They (BJP) were accusing the main opposition Congress party of conspiring to slander Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government over their handling of the coronavirus,” she said.
“Congress has denied being behind such efforts and it would suggest from Twitter flagging these ‘manipulative media’ that they found no evidence to support it.”
The truth remains fearless.
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Tensions between Modi’s government and the social media giant have been simmering for months, with Twitter earlier this year unblocking a number of accounts critical of New Delhi’s new farm laws following a request from authorities.
An Indian climate activist was arrested in February after he allegedly helped create a guide to farmers’ protests against the laws that was tweeted by environmentalist Greta Thunberg.
Last month, the government also ordered Twitter and Facebook to remove dozens of posts criticizing Modi’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.
Modi and the BJP have been criticized for being slow to respond to a fresh wave of COVID-19 infections that has pushed India’s healthcare system to breaking point, prompting criticism over the Modi administration’s approach to curb the pandemic.
The BJP has hit back via its social media army, accusing state governments and others of ignoring what it says are Modi’s repeated warnings of a second wave.
India has recorded a total of 26.75 million COVID-19 infections, second only to the United States, with more than 300,000 deaths, but experts warn the true toll could be much higher.