Congress Says Party's Official Account Blocked By Twitter

Congress Party Logo | File Photo

New Delhi- The Congress on Thursday alleged that the party's official Twitter account as well as that of a large number of its leaders and workers have been blocked by the microblogging site.

This comes close on the heels of the blocking of party leader Rahul Gandhi's Twitter account after he shared pictures of the family of the nine-year-old alleged rape and murder victim last week in violation of the law.

Congress social media department head Rohan Gupta said the party's official Twitter account and around 5,000 accounts of its top leaders and workers have been blocked by Twitter.

He alleged that Twitter is acting against Congress leaders under pressure from the government.

"Twitter is clearly acting under government's pressure, as it did not remove the same pictures shared by the Twitter accounts of National Commission for Scheduled Castes for a few days," Gupta said.

The Twitter accounts of AICC general secretaries Randeep Surjewala, K C Venugopal, Ajay Maken, party's whip in Lok Sabha Manickam Tagore, Assam in-charge and former Union minister Jitendra Singh and Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev have also been locked, the party said.

"So! After Shri @RahulGandhi, the Lord @narendramodi Ji and Vassal @Jack & @twitter have locked @rssurjewala, @ajaymaken & @sushmitadevinc. @INCIndia registers its protest and promises to continue the fight for each and all being wronged! We shall hold on @AshwiniVaishnaw Ji," tweeted Pranav Jha, AICC secretary in-charge of party's Communications Department last night. His account was later blocked too at night.

"The list goes on. @Twitter locks @JitendraSAlwar and @manickamtagore and many more. Doesn't Modi Ji understand that we @INCindia'ns have a legacy of fighting even from behind the locks of kaala paani," he had asked in another tweet.

"He thinks the virtual locks of Twitter will deter us from fighting for India," Jha said.

The Congress has accused Twitter of acting against Gandhi's account under pressure from the government.

Gandhi had tweeted pictures with the family of a nine-year-old victim of alleged rape and murder in Delhi last week.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) took cognisance of Gandhi's tweet and directed Twitter to act against the Congress leader's account for violating the privacy of a minor victim, mandated by the laws of the land.

Twitter says Gandhi, Cong a/cs blocked for violating rules

Twitter on Thursday reasoned blocking of several accounts of Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, for posting an image that it said violated its rules and the action was to protect individuals' privacy and safety.

Twitter handles of Gandhi and several Congress leaders have been locked by the US firm for posting pictures of the family of the nine-year-old Dalit rape and murder victim last week in the national capital.

The Congress party's official Twitter account has also been blocked.

When contacted, a Twitter spokesperson on Thursday said the company's rules are enforced judiciously and impartially for everyone in its 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," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that Twitter strongly encourages everyone on the service to familiarise themselves with the Twitter Rules and report anything they believe is in violation.

According to Twitter, if a tweet was found to be in violation of its rules and isn't deleted by the account holder, the microblogging platform hides it behind a notice and the account remains locked until the said tweet is removed or the appeal is successfully processed.

The US-based company said it was alerted by the 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. The said content was reviewed against Twitter's rules and policies as well as the concerns expressed as a matter of Indian law.

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