Indian govt objects to Twitter’s ‘manipulated media’ tag on toolkit tweets

Hours after a BJP spokesperson’s tweets on an alleged Congress ‘toolkit’ on the Centre’s Covid-19 response had been labeled as ‘manipulated media’, the federal government on Friday requested Twitter to take away the tag, saying the social media platform can’t go judgment on a matter underneath investigation.

The Ministry of Electronics and IT wrote “a robust communication” to Twitter registering objection to using ‘manipulated media’ tag on sure tweets, sources mentioned.

The communication referred to tweets by BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra as one “made by Indian political leaders” and went on to state that they had been in “reference to a toolkit created to undermine, derail and demean the efforts of the Authorities in opposition to Covid-19 pandemic.”

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It requested the microblogging platform to take away the ‘manipulated media’ tag because the matter is pending investigation earlier than a regulation enforcement company.

Sources mentioned the federal government has additionally made it clear that the social media platform can’t go judgment whereas the matter is underneath investigation.

The ‘manipulated media’ tagging appeared “pre-judged, prejudiced” and a “deliberate try and color the investigation” by native regulation enforcement company and “affect honest investigation course of”, sources mentioned, quoting from the communication.

When contacted, a Twitter spokesperson declined to touch upon the problem.

The sharp rebuke got here after Twitter labeled as “manipulated media” a tweet by Patra on the alleged toolkit ready by the Congress to focus on the Modi authorities on its dealing with of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The federal government has asserted that investigation will decide the veracity of the content material and never Twitter and requested the microblogging platform to not intrude within the investigation course of.

In its communication to Twitter, the ministry has acknowledged {that a} grievance has already been made by one of many involved events earlier than the native regulation enforcement company questioning the veracity of the toolkit and the identical is underneath investigation.

Whereas the native regulation enforcement company is endeavor the investigation to find out the veracity of the ‘tookit’, Twitter has unilaterally drawn a conclusion on this matter and arbitrarily tagged it as ‘manipulated media’, authorities sources mentioned.

The ministry has termed such unilateral motion by Twitter as an effort to affect the honest investigation course of and a transparent overreach, which is completely unwarranted.

The ministry additional acknowledged in its communication that Twitter unilaterally selected to go forward and designate sure tweets as ‘manipulated’, pending investigation by the regulation enforcement company.

Such motion not solely dilutes the credibility of Twitter as a impartial and unbiased platform facilitating the alternate of views by the customers but additionally places a query mark on Twitter’s standing as an “middleman”, they mentioned.

Twitter says it “might label Tweets that embody media (movies, audio, and pictures) which have been deceptively altered or fabricated.”

Patra’s tweet had posted a doc and mentioned, “Associates take a look at the #CongressToolKit in extending assist to the needy through the Pandemic! Extra of a PR train with the assistance of Pleasant Journalists & Influencers than a soulful endeavour. Learn for yourselves the agenda of the Congress”.

Twitter has an estimated 1.75 crore customers in India, as per knowledge cited by the federal government not too long ago.

Final month, Twitter and different social media platforms eliminated about 100 posts and URLs after the federal government requested them to take away content material that was important of the dealing with of the present medical disaster or spreading pretend information across the pandemic.

Twitter had additionally drawn flak earlier over inflammatory tweets and hashtags round farmers’ protests.

Earlier this yr, greater than 500 accounts had been suspended and entry to tons of of others in India blocked after the federal government ordered the microblogging platform to restrain the unfold of misinformation and inflammatory content material associated to the farmers’ stir.

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