Congress on Thursday declared its leader Rahul Gandhi’s position that democracy and social media platforms cannot be suppressed or subjugated by the ruling government and allowed to become a space for mere abuse and trolls to be justified.
This came out after Twitter said it was committed to India and a healthy debate on its platform.
Gandhi had written to Twitter, accusing it of “unwitting complicity” in restricting free speech in India and expressed serious concerns about the “removal” of his followers from his Twitter account.
Twitter, however, said the account’s follower count was “meaningful and accurate”.
Chief Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said Rahul Gandhi’s position was that social media platforms cannot be suppressed, subjugated and denigrated to the troll space and instead there should be healthy debate and discussion about them.
“Purality, multiculturalism, open debate, criticism of government policies and programs and that social media platforms should be a healthy forum for debates and discussions has been Rahul Gandhi’s position, which is now justified,” Surjewala told PTI.
In his letter to Twitter CEO Parag Aggarwal, Gandhi said: “I am writing to you on behalf of over a billion Indians not to allow Twitter to become a pawn in the destruction of the idea of India. “.
“I want to draw your attention to what I believe to be Twitter’s unwitting complicity in restricting freedom of expression in India,” Gandhi also said in his December 27 letter to Twitter.
In response to him, Twitter’s Vice President, Global Public Policy and Philanthropy, Sinead McSweeney said, “Twitter is deeply committed to India” and will ensure there is a healthy public conversation, which includes diverse voices, diverse viewpoints, allowing people to be better informed and to participate safely and comfortably.
Twitter also stressed that it does not arbitrarily censor political content and that elevating political debate and open speech is fundamental to its service and core values.
“We understand that increased transparency is the foundation for promoting healthy public conversation on Twitter and for building trust. We know it’s critical that people understand our processes and that we’re transparent about what results.
“We assure you that Twitter, Inc. treats its role as a platform service provider with the utmost seriousness and we have a deep commitment to India,” McSweeney said.
Gandhi had pointed out that the ideological battle between liberal democracy and authoritarianism across the world is being shaped on social media platforms and this places a huge responsibility on those at the helm of companies such as Twitter.
As leader of India’s largest opposition party, Gandhi said it was his duty to raise my voice on behalf of our people against injustice.
“As you may be aware, there is an ongoing attack on India’s institutional framework and a complete capture of mainstream mainstream media,” he alleged, adding that social media platforms like Twitter have become important channels for raising people’s issues and holding the government to account. .
“In this context, it is disconcerting that my Twitter follower growth has suddenly been suppressed,” he alleged, adding that his Twitter followers, which were growing by an average of 10,000 every day, became stagnant and fell to almost zero.
Gandhi’s Twitter following has started to increase since this week and is growing by around 10,000 a day, sources close to him said.
Gandhi’s followers topped 19.6 million on Thursday morning, after stagnating at 19.5 million for many months.
The former Congress leader also pointed out that Twitter India was under “tremendous pressure from the government to silence my voice” and pointed out that his account had even been blocked after being “singularly targeted”.
On Gandhi’s follower count, Twitter said the numbers are “meaningful and accurate” as it continues to strategically combat spam and malicious automation with machine learning tools.
“Twitter is also deleting millions of accounts each week for violating our policies on platform manipulation and spamming. Although some may notice a minor difference, in some cases the number could be higher. We understand that this change can be concerning, but we believe that accuracy and transparency make Twitter a more trusted service for public conversation.
“We continue our work to proactively identify and challenge problematic accounts globally that distort and harm the public conversation on Twitter,” the company said.
McSweeney said he is focused on developing machine learning tools that automatically identify and act on spam networks or rogue accounts.
“If we put an account in a read-only state (where the account can’t interact with others or Tweet) because our systems have detected suspicious behavior, Twitter removes it from the follower counts and counts engagement until he successfully completes a challenge, like confirming a phone number,” Twitter said.
To this end, the number of subscribers may also, for this reason, continue to change more regularly. That doesn’t mean those account holders did anything wrong, he said.