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Twitter interfering in India’s political process: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, on August 13, accused Twitter of interfering in India’s political process by blocking his and other Congress leaders’ accounts.

Gandhi – calling the social media platform ‘biased’ – said that he did not like a company making its business to define India’s politics.

“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,” Gandhi said in a video message.

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Apart from Rahul Gandhi’s account, Twitter has locked official Twitter handles of the Congress party and its many state unit handles. The party said that accounts of at least 21 leaders including that of its media in-charge Randeep Surjewala, AICC general secretary and former minister 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 been suspended.

“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,” Gandhi said.

The Congress leader said that it was not only patently unfair but also breaching the idea of Twitter as a neutral platform.

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“And for the investors this is a very dangerous thing because taking sides in the political contest has repercussions for Twitter,” he said.

Twitter said August 12 that it had blocked the accounts of Congress leaders and party units for posting an image that it said violated its rules and the action was to protect individuals’ privacy and safety.

“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.

Congress had earlier accused Twitter of acting against Gandhi’s account under pressure from the government.Gandhi’s account was suspended after he tweeted pictures with the family of a nine-year-old victim of alleged rape and murder in Delhi last week.

Gandhi accused Twitter of behaving as a biased platform at a time when the Opposition was not allowed to speak in Parliament.“It’s something that listens to what the government of the day says,’ he said.

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