The Centre on Friday objected to Twitter for using “Manipulated Media” tag for tweets on toolkit to defame government’s Covid-19 efforts and asked the microblogging webiste to drop the tagging as the matter is pending investigation before the law enforcement agency.
The government has said that the investigation will determine the veracity of the content not the Twitter. The Centre has also asked Twitter not to interfere in the investigation process.
The government has said that Twitter cannot pass its judgement while the matter is under investigation. Such content moderation by Twitter puts question mark on its status as “Intermediary”.
The Ministry of Electronics and IT has written a strong communication to the global team of Twitter registering objection on the use of “Manipulated Media” tag on certain Tweets made by Indian political leaders with reference to a toolkit created to undermine, derail and demean the efforts of the Government against COVID-19 pandemic.
In its communication to Twitter, the Ministry has stated that a complaint has already been made by one of the concerned parties before local law enforcement agency questioning the veracity of the toolkit and the same is under investigation.
While the local law enforcement agency is undertaking the investigation to determine the veracity of the ‘tookit’, Twitter has unilaterally drawn a conclusion in this matter and arbitrarily tagged it as “Manipulated Media”.
Such tagging by Twitter appears pre-judged, prejudiced and a deliberate attempt to colour the investigation by local law enforcement agency.
The Ministry has termed such unilateral action by Twitter as an effort to influence the fair investigation process and a clear overreach, which is totally unwarranted.
Ministry of Electronics and IT has further stated in its communication that Twitter unilaterally chose to go ahead and designate certain tweets as ‘Manipulated’, pending investigation by law enforcement agency.
This action not only dilutes the credibility of Twitter as a neutral and unbiased platform facilitating exchange of views by the users but also puts a question mark on the status of Twitter as an “Intermediary”.
The government has asked Twitter to remove the “Manipulated Media” tags affixed prejudicially to certain tweets in recent days in the interests of fairness and equity.