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This article was published on May 25, 2021


Why Delhi police ‘visited’ Twitter India’s closed offices amidst the pandemic

This could've been an email

Why Delhi police ‘visited’ Twitter India’s closed offices amidst the pandemic
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

Late last night, Delhi police visited Twitter‘s India’s office in the national capital and Gurugram. Initially, it was thought to be a raid, but it was just a visit to hand over a notice to the social network company.

The special cell of cops wanted to hand over a notice to Twitter’s India’s managing director regarding an ongoing investigation for tagging sometweetsfrom the spokesperson and leaders of the country’s ruling part, the BJP, as ‘manipulated media.

But the team found that these locations were closed as Twitter’s employees have been working remotely amid the coronavirus pandemic. There’s a valid question as to why this notice wasn’t served through a post or an email. As noted by ANI, The Delhi Police justified this by saying that “replies by Twitter India MD had been very ambiguous.”

Twitter has refused to comment on this incident for now.

The tweets in question, alleged the Congress, the country’s major opposition party, of creating a digital guide — now known as “toolkit” across the country — as a plot to damage the government’s efforts to curb the current surge of the COVID-19 cases. In one of the tweets shown above, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) spokesperson also said that Congress’ relief work was nothing but a PR stunt.

However, Alt News, an Indian fact-checking website, claimed that the document shown in the tweet was created on a forged letterhead. Soon after this report came out, Twitter applied its “manipulated media” label on tweets with this document. In response, India asked the social network to remove these labels.

Twitter has been in a constant battle with the Indian government this year. The firm first blocked and then unblocked several tweets from prominent accounts related to the farmer’s protest in February.

After this incident, the government threatened that if Twitter doesn’t follow the country’s rules and laws, the company’s employees could face penal actionAll eyes are now on Twitter to see if it can stand its ground amidst this administration’s fierce campaign to protect its image online.

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