A label that the platform placed with some tweets from politicians and that warns users against ‘manipulated media’ seems to be the cause.
Officers from an Indian police force have visited Twitter’s offices in India with a warning. The move came after Twitter applied a ‘manipulated media’ label to a tweet by Sambit Patra, one of the spokespersons for the Hindu nationalist BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), Prime Minister Modi’s party.
According to the ruling party, the tweet that led to the police action revolves around screenshots of a document that, according to the ruling party, was made by the opposition Congress. In the document, the party would draw additional attention to how badly the government is fighting the pandemic.
Congress says the document is falsified and has sent a complaint to Twitter, which labelled “manipulated media” on the tweets in question. Sambit Patra, one of the people who tweeted the document, then filed a complaint with the police.
Prime Minister Modi’s party has been trying to steer the comings and goings of Twitter in the country for a while. Earlier this year, the government asked to remove tweets critical of the way the government is fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. Something twitter did back then.
Now India would also want Twitter to remove all references to the Indian variant of the coronavirus. That’s the highly transmissible variant B.1.617, first observed in the country last year. Geographical indications for variants are more often used in reporting, for example, the British or Brazilian variant of covid-19, but according to India, the denomination is false.
The country is going through a particularly severe second wave of infection, with some 300,000 Covid-related deaths, although the actual numbers could be much higher. However, the government is doing everything it can to maintain the image that nothing is wrong. Prime Minister Modi stated earlier this year that his country had overcome the corona pandemic.