The official Twitter handles of the Congress and around 5,000 of its leaders and workers have been locked, the party claimed Thursday, amid growing controversy over “selective” action against Rahul Gandhi and others for posting photographs that show Mr Gandhi interacting with the family of the nine-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.”
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who heads the parliamentary IT panel, has said he is “actively engaged with Twitter” to restore all accounts, and accused the BJP of “trying to undermine the opposition”.
“I have taken a firm stand on this and am actively engaged to restore the accounts. It is a sad reflection… the way the BJP is trying to undermine the opposition,” he said.