Twitter has suspended the account of the Indian National Congress, the largest opposition party in South Asia, for violating its terms of service.
The Indian National Congress posted about the Twitter incident on Facebook on Thursday.
“When our leaders were put in jails, we were not scared then why would we be afraid of closing our Twitter accounts now. We are Congress, this is the message of the people, we will fight, we will keep fighting. If it is a crime to raise our voice to get justice for the rape victim girl, then we will do this crime a hundred times. Jai Hind… Satyamev Jayate,” it said.
Rohan Gupta, the Congress’ head of social media, claimed that Twitter took the action at the request of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, and that the company had also suspended the profiles of several of the party’s senior leaders.
A Twitter spokesperson said in a statement that the company’s rules are applied fairly and consistently to everyone who uses the service.
“We have taken proactive action on several hundred Tweets that posted an image that violated our Rules, and may continue to do so in line with our range of enforcement options. Certain types of private information carry higher risks than others, and our aim is always to protect individuals’ privacy and safety. We strongly encourage everyone on the service to familiarise themselves with the Twitter Rules and report anything they believe is in violation,” the spokesperson added.
The suspension of the Indian National Congress’s account has prompted new criticism of the American company. “We strongly condemn the blocking of the accounts of the Indian National Congress and senior leaders of the Congress party,” All India Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’ Brien tweeted.
The latest incident is Twitter’s latest stumbling block in India, a key overseas market for American companies.
Twitter has finally complied with the Indian government’s new IT law, which went into effect in May, after months of public outrage, a lawyer for New Delhi said in court Tuesday.
Twitter, which was criticized by the Indian government earlier this year for failing to block some tweets deemed objectionable by the Indian government, had requested a few more months to comply with the new rules, which require all major social media firms to do so.
According to the Indian government, any service with more than 5 million users must appoint officials in the country to address on-the-ground concerns.
The move is expected to reduce tensions between the two. In May, Twitter labeled a tweet from Sambit Patra, the spokesperson for India’s ruling BJP, as “manipulated media.”
A special squad of Delhi police investigating terrorism and other crimes paid a surprise visit to two of Twitter’s offices in the country a few days later to find out why Patra’s tweets were labeled as manipulated.
Twitter stated at the time that it was “concerned by recent events regarding our employees in India and the potential threat to freedom of expression for the people we serve.”