Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has accused Twitter of not being a neutral platform. In a video message posted on social media, Rahul called the microblogging site an “objective platform”, a day after Twitter briefly blocked his account for violating the rules
In a strong attack, Rahul said that Twitter was denying his millions of followers the right to an opinion and termed it as an attack on the democratic structure of the country. The former Congress chief asked whether Indians should allow companies just because they are beholden to the Government of India to define our politics.
“It’s obvious now that Twitter is actually not a neutral, objective platform. It is a biased platform. It’s something that listens to what the government of the day says,” he charged.
“By shutting down my Twitter they are interfering in our political process. A company is making its business to define our politics. And as a politician I don’t like that,” he said.
“This is an attack on the democratic structure of the country. This is not an attack on Rahul Gandhi. This is not you know simply shutting Rahul Gandhi down. I have 19-20 million followers. You are denying them the right to an opinion. That’s what you are doing,” Rahul said in his video message.
As Indians, he asked, “we have to ask the question: are we going to allow companies just because they are beholden to the Government of India to define our politics for us”. “Is that what this is going to come to? Or are we going to define our politics on our own? That’s the real question here,” the Congress leader said.
“Our democracy is under attack. 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,” he said.
The Congress had on Thursday claimed that Twitter blocked the official party handle and also accounts of several of its top leaders, including Rahul Gandhi. Twitter on its part clarified that the action was in response for posting an image that it said violated its rules and the action was to protect individuals’ privacy and safety. A Twitter spokesperson 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.