On Monday the ongoing battle between the Indian government and Twitter was esclated by the Delhi Police raiding the social media branches Delhi and Gurgaon offices over a tweet marked by the platform as “manipulated.”
The tweet in question was originated by Sambit Patra, national spokesperson of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on May 18.
Patra tweeted a document purportedly from the Congress with a note: “Friends look at the #CongressToolKit in extending help to the needy during the Pandemic! More of a PR exercise with the help of “Friendly Journalists” & “Influencers” than a soulful endeavour. Read for yourselves the agenda of the Congress: #CongressToolKitExposed”.
Twitter tagged the tweet with a “manipulated media” warning.
The government took umbrage and the Ministry of Electronics and IT wrote to Twitter objecting to the tag.
At the same time, the Congress also wrote to Twitter, asking it to permanently suspend the accounts of senior BJP leaders on the grounds of “spreading misinformation and unrest in the society.”
A note was sent by Delhi Police Special Cell sent to Twitter demanding an explanation for the tag. The note was addressed to Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari.
He was asked to present documents to clarify the matter by Monday afternoon. When this did not happen the Special Cell raided Twitter’s offices.