Toolkit case: Govt asks Twitter to remove ‘manipulated media’ tag, say sources

The central authorities on Friday took objections to Twitter labelling a tweet by BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra as “manipulated media”. In the tweet in query, Sambit Patra had shared some screenshots of what he claimed was a “toolkit” ready by the Congress celebration to assault and defame Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Congress has rubbished these costs and alleged that the screenshots have been of textual content printed on a “forged” letterhead of the Congress. The celebration has additionally registered FIRs in opposition to BJP leaders on this regard.


Top authorities sources stated that in its communication to Twitter, the central authorities has requested the social media big to remove the ‘manipulated media’ tag, saying Twitter can not move judgment on a matter that’s below investigation.

Sources privy to the event stated the Ministry of Electronics and IT wrote “a strong communication” to Twitter, registering objection to the usage of ‘manipulated media’ tag on sure tweets.

READ: Twitter flags Sambit Patra tweet: A look at how it detects manipulated media

The communication referred to Sambit Patra’s tweet (with out naming him) as “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”.


The authorities, sources stated, has requested Twitter to remove the ‘manipulated media’ tag as a result of the matter is pending investigation earlier than law-enforcement company.

Apart from this, sources say the federal government made it clear that Twitter can’t move such judgment whereas the matter is below investigation.

The ‘manipulated media’ tagging appeared “pre-judged, prejudiced” and a “deliberate attempt to colour the investigation” by local law-enforcement agency and “influence fair investigation process”, sources said, quoting from the communication.

The government said the ongoing investigation into the matter will determine the veracity of the content and not Twitter. It asked Twitter to refrain from interfering in the investigation.


Sources say the ministry told Twitter that 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’.

READ: Youth Congress files police complaint against Sambit Patra over ‘fake toolkit’

It added that this was an effort to “influence the fair investigation” and a “clear overreach, which is totally unwarranted”.

Such motion not solely dilutes the credibility of Twitter as a impartial and unbiased platform facilitating change of views by the customers but additionally places a query mark on Twitter’s standing as an “middleman”, the sources said.

In its policy, Twitter says it “may label Tweets that include media (videos, audio, and images) that have been deceptively altered or fabricated”.


Meanwhile, on Thursday, two days after filing a police complaint against the BJP in the ‘toolkit case’, the Congress wrote to Twitter asking it to permanently suspend accounts of BJP chief JP Nadda, Union minister Smriti Irani, party leaders Sambit Patra and BL Santosh for allegedly “spreading misinformation and unrest in the society” through the use of “forged” paperwork.

“We’ve formally written to Twitter searching for suspension of Twitter accounts of BJP leaders who’re indulging in spreading cast paperwork attributing to Congress,” said Congress’ social media department head Rohan Gupta.

(With PTI inputs)

READ: Covid toolkit case: Congress files complaint against JP Nadda, Smriti Irani, other BJP leaders

ALSO READ: Congress accuses BJP of raising ‘toolkit forgery’ to divert attention from Covid ‘failures’

WATCH: Centre objects to Twitter flagging tweets on toolkit as manipulative: Sources

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