2021-05-25 13:25:26 Police In Delhi Have Descended On Twitter’s Headquarters In The Country
Police In Delhi Have Descended On Twitter’s Headquarters In The Country
On Monday, a team of officers from New Delhi’s Special Cell, an elite branch of the police in charge of investigating terrorism and organized crime, descended on Twitter’s offices to “serve a notice” to the head of Twitter in India. Police also attempted to enter a Twitter office in Gurugram, which has since been permanently closed, according to a Twitter spokesperson.
The move came three days after Twitter labeled the tweets of half a dozen members of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party as “manipulated media,” accusing the Indian National Congress, the main opposition party, of plotting to harm Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his handling of the country’s coronavirus pandemic’s second wave.
According to an image circulated by members, the Indian National Congress is providing special medical assistance to journalists affected by the pandemic, among other things. The image was forged, according to AltNews, an Indian fact-checking website. (The Congress Party has also filed a police report against Sambit Patra, the BJP spokesperson who first shared the image.) On Friday, India’s IT ministry sent a letter to the company requesting that the labels be removed. Twitter, however, did not.
A Twitter representative declined to comment.
Several Delhi Police spokespersons did not respond to requests for comment. However, law enforcement sources told BuzzFeed News that they went to Twitter’s office to serve a notice as part of a “routine process” after receiving “ambiguous replies” from Twitter India’s managing director, Manish Maheshwari.
Officials walk up to the receptionist in the lobby of the New Delhi building containing Twitter’s Indian headquarters and ask security guards for the location of the office, according to videos obtained by BuzzFeed News. It’s unclear whether or not police were called to the office.
Twitter has been at odds with the Indian government for months. In February, the company refused to censor tweets from journalists, activists, and politicians in the country, despite being ordered to do so by the Indian government and threats from the IT ministry to imprison Twitter employees for not towing the government’s line.
The Indian government unveiled new regulations at the end of February in order to gain more control over social media companies. According to Reuters, it issued an order on Friday requesting that platforms remove content referring to a “Indian variant” of the coronavirus.