Finally, the Twitter account of Rahul Gandhi was again restored by Twitter on Saturday. After Rahul Gandhi accused Twitter of interfering in the political process and being a biased platform, Twitter took a step and unblocked the account.
Rahul Gandhi’s account was actually blocked temporarily by the social media platform Twitter around last week as he tweeted some pictures of the recent Delhi incident of the 9-year-old victim’s family.
As uploading the pictures became a violation of the law as per Twitter, a complaint was out to Twitter and as well as Delhi Police by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights. In addition to this, the handles of the leaders who shared the same pictures were also blocked temporarily.
On this, Twitter said in a statement, “as part of the appeal process Rahul Gandhi submitted the copy of the formal consent/authorization letter to use the reference image via our Indian grievance channel. We have followed the necessary due diligence process to review the appeal and have updated our enforcement action based on the consent provided by the people depicted in the image. The tweet is now withheld in India and the account access has been restored. As explained in our country withheld policy, it may be necessary to withhold access to certain content in accordance with valid legal provisions under the Indian laws.”
But now Mr. Gandhi’s Twitter account has now been again restored, so the handles of other leaders were also restored. Rahul Gandhi has not made any tweets yet. But Lok Sabha member Manickam Tagore made a tweet regarding the restoration of the account.
A video of Rahul Gandhi talking about action made by Twitter went viral. In this video, Rahul Gandhi shared and cautioned that if Twitter takes sides in any political decisions, then Twitter will surely face some “repercussions”. Further in the video, Rahul Gandhi shares that ” It is obvious that Twitter is actually not a neutral, objective platform. It is a biased platform. It is something that listens to what the government of the day says”. It’s not just Rahul Gandhi who thinks this step by Twitter was wrong. Many netizens and leaders also supported him. Sashi Tharoor, senior Congress leader and head of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, also supported Rahul Gandhi by saying that locking an account was an extreme step taken by Twitter. He said:
” Locking an account is an extreme step that infringes the freedom of expression of users. The rules can be upheld without such action. This may be a worldwide policy but I urge Twitter to revise it forthwith. Its often selective application makes it worse. A rethink is overdue.” He further says, ” in my conversation with @Twitter I took strong exception to the policy of automatically locking accounts whether @RahulGandhi’s or @rsprasad’s. If there is a violation of law whether POSCO or copyright, it should suffice to withhold the offending tweet and issue notice to the user.”
When netizens first heard that Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter account was initially blocked, it led to chaos on Twitter as the reason for blocking the account was not accepted by the people. And as a result, netizens started supporting Rahul Gandhi and have also asked Twitter to unlock his account. In spite of all this support from leaders and netizens, Twitter took one week to unlock Rahul Gandhi’s Twitter account.
As Twitter was a part of these political decisions, Manish Maheshwari, Twitter head of India, has now transferred to the U.S. the company has not given any specific information regarding this but it said that Manish Maheshwari is now transferred to the U.S, as senior director, and he will now focus on new markets.