Centre asks Twitter to remove 'manipulated media' tags from alleged 'Congress toolkit' tweets
New Delhi/IBNS: The Indian government has asked Twitter to remove "manipulated media" tag from tweets that claimed to expose the alleged "Congress toolkit"aimed at discrediting Centre's Covid-19 efforts, terming it "prejudicial, a clear overreach and unwarranted", media reports said.
The complaint was made after BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra's tweet was tagged as "manipulated media" by Twitter.
The Ministry of Electronics and IT took a strong exception in a communication to Twitter, asking it to remove the tag on "certain tweets made by Indian political leaders with reference to a toolkit created to undermine, derail and demean the efforts of the government against COVID-19," an NDTV report said, quoting sources.
A tweet by BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra in which he shared a screenshot of what he called a Congress toolkit aimed at maligning Prime Minister Narendra Modi's efforts in handling Covid-19. His post was shared by several BJP leaders.
The Congress accused the BJP of sharing a fake "toolkit" that used forged screenshots and filed FIRs in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, both Congress ruled states.
It also wrote to Twitter urging it to remove Sambit Patra's post and other BJP leaders post shared it and suspend their accounts permanently for "spreading misinformation and unrest in society".
The next day the "manipulated media" tag appeared on Sambit Patra's post.
Friends look at the #CongressToolKit in extending help to the needy during the Pandemic!— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) May 18, 2021
More of a PR exercise with the help of “Friendly Journalists” & “Influencers” than a soulful endeavour.
Read for yourselves the agenda of the Congress:#CongressToolKitExposed pic.twitter.com/3b7c2GN0re
The government has already launched an investigation into the veracity of the content of the alleged toolkit.
"The investigation will determine the veracity of the content, not Twitter. Twitter should not interfere in the investigation process. Twitter cannot pass its judgment while the matter is under investigation," the sources said, NDTV reported.
In its communication the government has also told Twitter that such content moderation by Twitter puts question mark on its role as an intermediary and puts under scanner its credibility as a neutral and unbiased platform facilitating the exchange of views by users.
The government has also accused Twitter of unilaterally drawing a conclusion has unilaterally drawn a conclusion in this matter and arbitrarily tagged it as 'Manipulated Media'".
According to the screenshot of the alleged toolkit shared by Sambit Patra, it instructed the "use the phrase 'Indian strain' whenever talking of the new mutant. Social media volunteers may call it 'Modi strain'." it asked the Congress workers to use the term "super-spreader Kumbh" and "not comment on Eid gatherings".
However, the Congress has refuted all the allegations and even said that the "AICC (All India Congress Committee) Research Department" letterhead on the documents was fabricated.