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Congress Toolkit Row: Delhi police visits Twitter offices over ‘manipulated media’ tag

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On Monday night, the Delhi Police’s Special Cell visited Twitter’s office in Lado Sarai in New Delhi and in Gurgaon to serve a notice in connection to a probe into the toolkit allegedly created by the Indian National Congress party.

Last Friday, Twitter labelled tweets of BJP politicians including spokesperson Sambit Patra and others on the alleged toolkit prepared by Congress as “manipulated media”. The other BJP politicians whose tweets were tagged in a similar manner by Twitter include Priti Gandhi, Sunil Deodhar, Vinay Sahasrabudhhe and Kuljeet Singh Chahal. Later on the same day, the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) wrote a letter to the global team of Twitter asking the social media platform to remove the tag as the matter was under investigation, according to an ANI report.

The government said that Twitter’s decision to label these tweets diluted its credibility since they are subject to an investigation. When contacted regarding the matter, a Twitter spokesperson declined to comment.

An Indian Express article said that police teams were sent to both locations in three cars, but they could not locate the Gurgaon Office, while the one in Delhi was locked. The report quoted a Delhi police official who said that they issued the notice after receiving complaints from the head of Congress’ social media department Rohan Gupta and Congress’ national spokesperson MV Rajeev Gowda.

The Press Trust of India quoted Delhi Police PRO Chinmoy Biswal saying that the Delhi police team went to the Twitter office to serve a notice to Twitter as a part of a routine process. “This was necessitated as we wanted to ascertain who is the right person to serve a notice, as replies by Twitter India MD have been very ambiguous,” he told the news agency.

According to a report by ANI, the Delhi Police Special Cell earlier had sent a notice to Twitter in connection to the “manipulated media” tag used in some tweets made by BJP politicians on the alleged Congress “toolkit”. The Delhi Police reportedly asked Twitter to share information that it had in regard to the alleged toolkit and why it used the “manipulated media” tag.

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