In a letter addressed to Twitter CEO Parag Aggarwal in December last year, the Congress MP reportedly said that his followers on the social media platform were being restricted by Twitter under pressure from the Centre.
New Delhi: Congress MP Rahul Gandhi has alleged that the micro-blogging platform Twitter was restricting his followers under “pressure by the government’’ to silence his voice.
In a letter addressed to Twitter CEO Parag Aggarwal in December last year, the Congress MP reportedly said that his followers on the social media platform were being restricted by Twitter under direct pressure from the Centre.
It may be noted that Twitter recently banned one of Rahul Gandhi’s tweets for allegedly violating the company’s content guidelines.
“I want to bring your attention to what I believe is Twitter’s unwitting complicity in curbing free and fair speech in India,” Rahul Gandhi wrote in his letter to Twitter’s CEO.
The Gandhi scion also sent an analysis of data from his Twitter account showing that the number of followers, which currently stands at 19.5 million, had barely increased for several months following an eight-day suspension in August last year.
However, responding to Rahul Gandhi’s letter, Twitter said, “Follower counts are a visible feature and we want everyone to have confidence that numbers are meaningful and accurate.” The social media company said, “Twitter has a zero-tolerance approach to platform manipulation and spam.”
The social media company added, “We remove millions of accounts each week for violating our policies on platform manipulation & spam. You can take a look at the latest Twitter Transparency Center update for more context. While some accounts notice a minor difference, in certain cases no could be higher.”
The Twitter spokesperson further said, “We fight spam and malicious automation strategically and at scale with machine learning tools, and as part of those consistent and ongoing efforts to ensure a healthy service and credible accounts, follower counts can and do fluctuate.”
Gandhi, who is a Congress Member of Parliament from Kerala’s Wayanad, has been an active user of Twitter since 2015 and has been a vocal critic of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and its various policies and decisions.
The development comes weeks before five states go to assembly polls starting from February 10. Due to the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Election Commission has curbed on-ground campaigning and parties are increasingly trying to woo voters online