Published On: Thu, Aug 12th, 2021

Locking account stifles freedom of expression, says Tharoor

New Delhi: Reacting to the ongoing tussle between Congress and social media platform Twitter, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who is also the chairman of standing committee on Information Technology, said on Thursday that locking accounts stifles the freedom of expression.

The perception of double standards makes matters worse

In a series of tweets, Tharoor said, “Automatically locking accounts is an extreme step that stifles the freedom of expression of Indian citizens.”

He said, “I understand @Twitter’s position that it has no choice but block accounts that violate Indian law & Twitter policy. While the law is what it is, policy can be reviewed.”

He said that the the outrage of the rape, murder and hasty cremation of a 9-yr-old Dalit girl in Delhi has shocked the nation’s conscience. It demands expeditious action, not against Rahul Gandhi for a technical violation of law, but against those who were complicit in this human tragedy.

“The perception of double standards makes matters worse. When a BJP national spokesman posted a picture of the Hathras rape victim (violating Section 228A of the Indian Penal Code) @Twitter did not lock his account. SC Commission posted a pic of the victim’s family on Aug 2, no action.” Tharoor tweeted

He said that the Twitter’s action taken against a prominent opposition leader raises obvious concerns of selectivity and bias. I urge @Twitter to restore @RahulGandhi’s account, review the policy of automatic suspensions & show more sensitivity to public concerns. Focus on what happened to the girl, not a pic!”

The Congress party on Thursday claimed that after blocking their former president Rahul Gandhi’s social media account, Twitter has now “locked” the party’s official handle @INCIndia.

Congress social media head Rohan Gupta said the official Twitter account of the Congress has been locked. “Cong official twitter account locked,” Gupta tweeted and told IANS that 5,000 of their party workers and leaders’ accounts have also been blocked.

IYC national president Srinivas B.V. tweeted: First Rahul Gandhiji’s account, Then Congress workers’ account, Then Congress Leaders account, & Now official account of @INCIndia…Twitter is openly batting as a frontal organization of the BJP. Are we still living in India or North Korea?”

The micro-blogging platform a day ago also blocked Congress General Secretary Ajay Maken’s handle, Maken said that Twitter blocked him for supporting Rahul Gandhi.

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