Published: 25th May 2021
What The FAQ: From #ToolKit to Delhi Police raids, what is the Twitter India controversy all about?
The Delhi Police's Special Cell on Monday served a notice to Twitter India in connection with the probe into a complaint about the alleged 'COVID toolkit'
All hell broke loose when Twitter tagged a few BJP leaders' post on the alleged Congress “toolkit” against the Modi government calling it manipulated media. Among the leaders whose posts were flagged, was BJP Spokesperson and veteran politician Sambit Patra. After the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) wrote to the microblogging site objecting to its actions, the Delhi Police raided Twitter's India offices on Monday. Now, Twitter has brought in their global deputy general counsel and VP (legal), Jim Baker to resolve the issue. In the midst of all this, the Indian government is set to implement its Social Media Intermediary rules 2021 from May 26. Now, the question on the minds of many is whether Twitter will be banned given that the Modi government has never had a good understanding with the social media platform? Well, we will answer that and all other questions you have about the issue.
Why did Delhi Police raid Twitter offices?
The Delhi Police's Special Cell on Monday served a notice to Twitter India in connection with the probe into a complaint about the alleged 'COVID toolkit', asking it to share information based on which it had classified a related tweet by BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra as "manipulated media", officials said.
Two police teams also went to the microblogging site's offices in Lado Sarai in Delhi and in Gurgaon in the evening. "The Delhi police team went to the Twitter office to serve a notice to Twitter as a part of a routine process. This was necessitated as we wanted to ascertain who is the right person to serve a notice, as replies by Twitter India MD have been very ambiguous," Delhi Police PRO Chinmoy Biswal said that the BJP has accused the Congress of creating a 'toolkit' that seeks to tarnish the image of the country and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the handling of the COVID pandemic. Congress has denied such claims.
What are manipulated tweets?
Twitter says it "may label Tweets that include media (videos, audio, and images) that have been deceptively altered or fabricated."
"You should be able to find reliable information on Twitter. That means understanding whether the content you see is real or fabricated and having the ability to find more context about what you see on Twitter. Therefore, we may label Tweets that include media (videos, audio, and images) that have been deceptively altered or fabricated. In addition, you may not share deceptively altered media on Twitter in ways that mislead or deceive people about the media's authenticity where threats to physical safety or other serious harm may result," says Twitter's rules and regulations page.
READ ALSO: Toolkit case: War of words between BJP and Opposition over 21-year-old climate activist's arrest
What is the opposition saying?
The Congress on last Thursday wrote to Twitter asking it to permanently suspend the accounts of BJP leaders including party chief JP Nadda and Union minister Smriti Irani for allegedly "spreading misinformation and unrest in the society". The opposition party has insisted that the toolkit documents flagged by the BJP are "fake" and has filed a police complaint against its leaders. The Chhattisgarh police have registered an FIR to probe the matter.
What did Patra tweet?
The BJP has been attacking Congress over some controversial content of the so-called toolkit. BJP leaders, including Patra, have posted numerous tweets to attack the Congress over the toolkit. Patra's tweet, now labelled "manipulated media" had posted a document and said, "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".