Twitter restores access to accounts of Rahul Gandhi, INC India | India News
However, the tweet in which he has shared an image of the Dalit family whose 9-year-old daughter was raped and murdered, will remain unavailable in India since it is unlawful, according to the POCSO Act, to disclose the identity of the family of a rape victim.
Apart from Rahul’s account, Twitter also restored access to Congress’ Twitter handle @INCIndia on Saturday morning. Shortly afterwards, the handle tweeted ‘Satyamev Jayate (Truth Prevails)’. Access to other locked accounts is also expected to be restored in due course.
“We have followed the necessary due diligence process to review the appeal in order to protect the safety and privacy of the affected individuals. We have updated our enforcement action based on the consent provided by the people depicted in the image. The Tweet is now withheld in India and the account access has been restored,” a Twitter spokesperson said.
Twitter also added that according to its ‘Country Withheld Policy’, it was withholding access to the specific tweet that contained the family’s images in accordance with valid legal provisions under the Indian law, in this case the POCSO Act. So while the withheld tweet will remain unavailable in India, it will be visible in other parts of the World.
Rahul had on Friday slammed Twitter for “interfering” in India’s political process, and for making it the company’s business “to define our politics”.
He described the blocking of accounts by Twitter an “an attack on the democratic structure of the country”, and a move that was not only “patently unfair”, but also “breaching the idea that Twitter is a neutral platform”.
“…For the investors, this is a very dangerous thing because taking sides in the political contest has repercussions for Twitter.…It’s obvious now that Twitter is actually not a neutral, objective platform. It is a biased platform. It's something that listens to what the government of the day says,” he said.
The brief video message saw Rahul ask whether companies must be allowed to “define politics” only because they are “beholden” to the government.
Twitter, had, however, said that action was initiated against handles because they violated Twitter Rules and that accounts would be restored once the offensive content is deleted, insisting all the while that “Twitter Rules are enforced judiciously and impartially for everyone on our service.”
Twitter’s action had also invited criticism from Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who has objected to such “extreme action” in the past as well.
“In my conversations w/@Twitter I took strong exception to the policy of automatically locking accounts, whether @RahulGandhi’s or @rsprasad’s. If there is a violation of law, whether POSCO or copyright, it should suffice to withhold the offending tweet& issue notice to the user,” Tharoor said on Twitter.
He added, “Locking an account is an extreme step that infringes the freedom of expression of users. The rules can be upheld without such action. This may be a worldwide policy but I urge @Twitter to revise it forthwith. Its often selective application makes it worse. A rethink is overdue.”
August 14, 2021, 8:23 am