Indian police serve notice to Twitter MD

Indian police serve notice to Twitter MD
  • BJP last week had shared a document on Twitter which they said was created by Congress and highlighting govt's failure in handling of COVID-19.
  • Congress had complained to Twitter saying the document was fake. 
  • After the complaint Twitter marked some of the posts as manipulated media.

Indian police on Monday served a notice to Twitter's managing director in the country regarding an investigation into the microblogging website's tagging of a post by a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesman as "manipulated media".

Leaders of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's  BJP last week shared portions of a document on Twitter they said was created by the main opposition Congress and highlighted government failures in handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Congress complained to Twitter saying the document was fake, after which the US company marked some of the posts — including one by BJP spokesman Sambit Patra — as "manipulated media".

Delhi police on Monday said they had received a complaint about the classification of Patra's tweet, which it was investigating, adding that a team of officials visited a Twitter office to serve notice of the inquiry.

"This was necessary as we wanted to ascertain who is the right person to serve a notice (to), as replies by Twitter India MD have been very ambiguous," a police statement said, referring to the company's managing director.

Twitter says it applies its "manipulated media" tag to posts "that include media (videos, audio, and images) that have been deceptively altered or fabricated".

Twitter declined to comment on the matter.

Tensions between Twitter India's branch and Modi's administration have been brewing for months, with the government asking the social media platform on multiple occasions to take down posts critical of its record.

The government last month asked Twitter to remove dozens of tweets, including some by local lawmakers, that attacked its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, and in February criticised the company for not complying with one of its takedown orders. read more

India has recorded a total of 26.75 million COVID-19 infections, second only to the United States, with more than 300,000 deaths, prompting criticism of the Modi administration's approach to curbing the pandemic.

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