Delhi Police v/s Twitter India: All you need to know
Twitter offices in Delhi and Gurugram were visited by the Special Cell of Delhi Police to serve a notice pertaining to the "Congress toolkit" case. This follows days after Twitter flagged BJP spokesman Sambit Patra's tweet as "manipulated media". The notice was served requesting the microblogging platform to share information that led to the decision, even as Delhi Police termed it a "routine process".
"The Delhi Police team went to Twitter office to serve a notice to Twitter, as a part of routine process. This was necessitated as we wanted to ascertain who is the right person to serve a notice," said Delhi Police.
The crux of the issue is BJP's accusation that Congress had created a "toolkit" designed to malign the image of the nation and Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the alleged mishandling of COVID-19 pandemic. Congress, on the other hand, denied the allegations and instead accused BJP itself of seeding the fake "toolkit" as a ploy to defame the opposition party.
Twitter was dragged into the political crossfire after it labelled Patra's tweet on the subject as "manipulated media". Twitter's own guidelines specify that it does so when it suspects tweets to contain media (video, audio, and image) that have been deceptively altered or fabricated. The Delhi Police contends that Twitter should share relevant information, which allowed it to flag the tweet, with the authorities.
"It appears that Twitter has some information which is not known to us and on the basis of which they have classified it as such. This information is relevant to the inquiry. Twitter, which has claimed to know the underlying truth, should clarify," said Biswal.
Cowardly raid on @Twitter unleashed by Delhi Police exposes lameduck attempts to hide the fraudulent toolkit by BJP leaders.— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) May 24, 2021
Such attempts to murder freedom of speech lay bare the BJP’s guilt.
Our Statement-:#Toolkit pic.twitter.com/0e4hUHQ0lx
However, this wasn't the first notice Delhi Police had served to Twitter India. A previous notice was addressed to the Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari with the same request to share information that led it to classify Patra's tweet as "manipulated media". The notice requested Maheshwari to report to the DCP office with requisite documentation on May 22 at 1 pm.
However, Twitter's partisan treatment of the Modi government was evident with its recent compliance of Singapore government's order to carry correction notice about what it claimed to be a false statement, regarding a new SARS-CoV-2 virus strain originating in the city-state. The controversy erupted after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, claiming that a new strain of the coronavirus was taking hold in Singapore.
It is telling when Twitter is quick to comply to Singapore's demands in the absence of scientific inquest ascertaining whether or not Kejriwal's claims hold true. However, it doggedly refuses to comply to the Indian government's orders to address similar fake news concerns. India had also reprimanded WhatsApp for using different set of privacy standards for European Union, while being unfair to Indian users.