Twitter has spoken up about the recent police raid and has expressed concern over the security of its staff in India. Twitter’s statement comes days after police visited its offices as part of an investigation on Twitter’s tagging of certain ruling party posts as ‘manipulated media’. On May 25, the Delhi Police visited Twitter’s offices at Delhi and Gurugam to serve notices.
Twitter said, “Right now, we are concerned by recent events regarding our employees in India and the potential threat to freedom of expression for the people we serve. We, alongside much in civil society in India and around the world, have concerns with regards to the use of intimidation tactics by the police in response to enforcement of our global Terms of Service, as well as with core elements of the new IT Rules. We plan to advocate for changes to elements of these regulations that inhibit free, open public conversation. We will continue our constructive dialogue with the Indian Government and believe it is critical to adopt a collaborative approach. It is the collective responsibility of elected officials, industry, and civil society to safeguard the interests of the public.”
Recently, a contest between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress erupted, over a “toolkit” allegedly set up by the Bharatiya Janata Party. Several top BJP leaders tweeted portions of the document, claiming it was created by Congress. The “toolkit” allegedly highlighted the Centre’s failure in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. But Congress denied the allegations and decried the documents as fake. Twitter afterward marked some of the posts as “manipulated media.” Congress alleged that BJP had forged and fabricated documents with the intent to create communal disharmony and civil unrest.
Following the showdown, India announced new IT rules that aim to make social media firms more accountable to legal requests for the swift removal of posts.
Twitter says it will strive to comply with applicable law in India, and that it will continue to be strictly guided by principles of transparency, as well as committing itself to the empowerment of every voice on the service, and protecting freedom of expression and privacy under the rule of law.