Udayavni Special

Toolkit: Congress writes to Twitter seeking manipulated media tag on tweets of 11 union ministers


Team Udayavani, May 25, 2021, 3:01 PM IST

New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday demanded that Twitter affix manipulated media tag to tweets of several union ministers for allegedly spreading false and malicious propaganda against the party.

Congress general secretary and chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala wrote to Twitter’s Lead for Legal, Policy and Trust and Safety Vijaya Gadde and its Deputy General Counsel and Vice President (Legal) Jim Baker, seeking stern action against 11 union ministers for allegedly spreading false and forged documents.

Surjewala has alleged that the “forged, fabricated material” and the claims made under the #CongressToolkitExposed by various ministers are identical to the material that has already been marked as ”manipulated media” by Twitter.

He alleged that the subject matter of the forged Toolkit document was created by certain BJP leaders to gain undue and wrongful political advantage by spreading potentially dangerous, false and fabricated material through their Twitter handles against the Indian National Congress and its leaders.

The union ministers against whom the Congress has sought action are Giriaj Singh, Piyush Goyal, Smriti Irani, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Prahlad Joshi, Dharmendra Pradhan, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Thawarchand Gehlot, Harsh Vardhan, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

Surjewala said, “It is a matter of fact that people tend to believe ”true” and take on face value, any information that is put up directly by a Union Minister of the Government of India through his/ her official/ verified Twitter account.”

“Hence, it becomes all the more imperative to tag, ”manipulative media” (sic), on all such tweets made by Ministers of the Government of India on the above referred forged toolkit document created by the BJP,” he said in his complaint.

“It is reasonable to expect that the aforementioned individuals will be dealt with the same yardstick as applied in other cases where the Twitter platform is misused to broadcast forged and fabricated material…,” he also said.

This comes a day after Delhi Police’s Special Cell sent a notice to Twitter India in connection with the probe into a complaint about the alleged ”COVID toolkit”, asking it to share information based on which it had classified a related tweet by BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra as “manipulated media”, with two police teams descending on the microblogging site’s offices in Lado Sarai in Delhi and in Gurgaon on Monday evening.

Earlier, Twitter tagged tweets of BJP leaders Sambit Patra and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat as “manipulative media”.

The Congress has accused BJP leaders, including union ministers, of misusing the Twitter platform to disseminate forged and fabricated material.

The Congress had earlier complained to Delhi police to register an FIR against BJP leaders for allegedly spreading “false” information about the Congress toolkit.

The NSUI has already registered an FIR against Raman Singh and Sambit Patra in Raipur, Chhattisgarh, where the Congress is in power.

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