Police in Delhi, India’s capital state, searched two Twitter offices on Monday (24) to collect information behind the tagging of a tweet by the governing party spokesman – BJP – as “manipulated media”. The offices of the social network in Delhi and Gurgaon, a neighboring city, were closed and without the presence of employees.
Twitter disputes post by government spokesman
After an hour of searching, Delhi’s special police division that investigates terrorism and special crimes has left the offices empty-handed and without testimony, according to local news channels. Last week, the New Delhi office sent a notification to Twitter to explain what prompted a tweet from the government spokesman. Sambit Patra as “manipulated media”.
In the tweet, Sambit Patra accuses the Indian Congress, controlled by a majority of opposition to the Prime Minister’s government Narendra Modhi, to use a “toolkit ” (toolkit translation) to undermine the government’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. THE Alt-News, one of the country’s leading verification agencies, denied the accusation of Patra.
In an interview with Indian TV channels, the Delhi police defended the operation: “We are investigating a complaint whose clarification from Twitter is necessary, in relation to the classification of a tweet by Shri Sambit Patra (BJP spokesman) as’ manipulated ‘. It seems that the network has some information that we do not know to tag the post as such ”.
Twitter introduced its “manipulated media” tag in February 2021. It applies to all content that has been manipulated or that is entirely manufactured. Under the new rules, videos and adulterated images, fake content that has been presented as true or that “probably impacts public safety or causes harm” can be banned. The social network has applied the tag to some tweets by former US President Donald Trump, who has had his account permanently suspended.
Delhi police further denied that it hacked into Twitter offices, and said it was only there to notify the company’s director in India. Several public figures in the country contested the police version.
As India seeks priority assistance from the international community & esp from the US, I guess this is one way to convince them that it is focused on the real problem at hand. https://t.co/QqBhbx0oYN
– Tanvi Madan (@tanvi_madan) May 24, 2021
“As India seeks priority assistance from the international community and especially the United States, I think this is a way to convince them that it is focused on the real problem in question” – @tanvi_madan
Label a ruling party spokesperson’s tweet as containing manipulated media? Well, the Union Govt will bsend in the Special Cell stormtroopers of the Delhi Police to your India subsidiary’s office in the national capital region to show you what’s what.
Blatant authoritarianism. https://t.co/rzt8Nf0bVd
– Raman Chima (@tame_wildcard) May 24, 2021
“Labeling a ruling party spokesman’s tweet as“ manipulated media ”? Well, the Union Government will send the Delhi Police riot squad to the office of its subsidiary in India, in the region of the national capital to show what is what. Blatant authoritarianism. ” – @tame_wildcard
Government of India wants more control over social networks
The Indian government has reinforced its intentions to control the posture of major social networks in the country. In a letter made on Monday (24), he ordered social networks to remove content containing the words “Indian variant” from the air. Last month, it asked Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to censor posts critical to its fight against the pandemic.
According to the COVID-19 monitor at John’s Hopkins University, India recorded 4,454 deaths and 222,315 new cases of the new coronavirus on Monday (24).
With information: The Verge and TechCrunch