Rahul Gandhi Alleges Foul Play By Modi Govt In Truncating Twitter

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RaGa Alleges Foul Play By Modi Govt In Truncating Twitter Following

| Updated: January 28, 2022 13:05

Leader of India’s largest Opposition, Rahul Gandhi alleged, in a letter dated Dec 27, that his Twitter following has been tinkered with. The party has been vocal all along on the BJP government’s policing US social media platforms. In a recent letter, Gandhi warned Twitter against “becoming a pawn in the destruction in the idea of India” and implored that “Twitter does not actively help in the growth of authoritarianism in India.”

The letter, addressed to Twitter chief Parag Agrawal, claims that Gandhi added hundreds of thousands of followers each month. In May 2021, he got 640,000 new followers. But since August 2021, his new follower count has fallen to “nearly zero” each month. Wall Street Journal and two independent analytics firms have confirmed that Gandhi gained an average of nearly 400,000 new users a month in the first seven months of 2021, but between September and December, he added fewer than 2,500 a month.

The young leader has alleged that the ruling BJP as a hand in stifling his social media reach. In his letter, he alludes to Twitter’s “unwitting complicity in curbing free and fair speech in India.” The microblogging platform is “under immense pressure by the government to silence my voice,” he claims, adding that the activity on his profile was restricted after he “raised the plight of a rape survivor’s family in Delhi, stood in solidarity with farmers, and fought the government on many other human rights issues.”

As of Jan 28, Rahul Gandhi has 19.6 million followers, far behind prime minister’s Narendra Modi’s 75 million, but still a sizeable number. This isn’t the first time Gandhi has accused Twitter of unfair treatment.

In August 2021, his account was blocked for sharing a photo with the Delhi rape victim’s family, after children’s rights activists claimed it violated the law. (The tweet is withheld in India but back for the rest of the world.) Several other Congress leaders were also locked out of the platform for sharing the same. All of them alleged Twitter was dancing to the tune of the BJP.

Twitter’s response to Rahul Gandhi

Twitter denies toying with anyone’s account, adding that its follower counts are “meaningful and accurate.” And when it comes to blocking accounts, it does so “judicially and impartially.”

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