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‘We are Impartial’, Claims Twitter India on Caste Bias Allegations

"As we have stated several times, our public verification process is closed. While we are reviewing the entire program, on a limited case-by-case basis we do verify public figures who are active in the public conversation," it added

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TWitter
The logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. vOA

Reacting to allegations of caste bias, Twitter India on Thursday claimed that it is an impartial platform and does not take action based upon any ideology or political viewpoint.

The current row started after the account of senior columnist Dilip C. Mandal got restricted. He later got back the account. But Mandal continued the tirade against Twitter. As others joined him, a flurry of tweets followed under #CasteistTwitter, #JaiBhimTwitter and #cancelallBlueTicksinIndia over the course of this week.

Thereafter, thousands of users took to Twitter to demand the removal of the blue tick in India to enforce uniform rules.

“There’s been a lot of discussion this week about Twitter’s perceived bias in India. To be clear, whether it’s the development of policies, product features, or enforcement of our Rules, we are impartial and do not take action based upon any ideology or political viewpoint,” Twitter India said.

“We are committed to serving an open public conversation in India and we will continue to be transparent in our efforts,” it said.

In a series of tweets, Twitter India, which has been accused of discriminating against Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Other Backward Class (OBC) activists, said it is reviewing its verification programme.

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A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo. VOA

In his tweets on November 3, Supreme Court lawyer Nitin Meshram summarised the grievances.

“What is our grievance: 1. #Twitter India is discriminating against Sc-St-OBC activists in suspending & verifying their accounts. 2. Twitter lacks uniform rules & therefore, #CasteistTwitter suppress Dalit, OBC, & Tribal activists by unequal reference to its rules.
#JaiBhimTwitter

“3. Without @verified badge, Dalit, OBC, & Tribals are not authentic in digital world. They are vulnerable to fake, fraud, & clone accounts. 4. All stalwarts of Dalits, OBCs, & Tribals are denied @verified badge, whereas, pigmies of other castes have been adorned with blue tick,” he alleged.

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Denying the allegations, the Twitter said it has “one set of Twitter Rules”.

“We have one set of Twitter Rules, and we enforce our policies judiciously and impartially for all individuals — regardless of their belief or background. Every Tweet and every account that is brought to our attention is reviewed on its own merit,” Twitter India said.

“As we have stated several times, our public verification process is closed. While we are reviewing the entire program, on a limited case-by-case basis we do verify public figures who are active in the public conversation,” it added. (IANS)

Next Story

Twitter Bans All Kinds of Political Ads From its Platform

Experts said the onus is now on Facebook which has become a platform for spreading misleading and fake political ads

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Twitter is a social media app that encourages short tweets and brief conversations. Pixabay

Putting pressure on Facebook to follow suit, Twitter has officially banned all kinds of political ads from its platform, weeks after CEO Jack Dorsey announced that the micro-blogging site would no longer allow those ads.

No political content will be promoted from candidates, parties, governments or officials, public accounts committees (PACs) and certain political non-profit groups.

“Twitter globally prohibits the promotion of political content. We have made this decision based on our belief that political message reach should be earned, not bought,” the micro-blogging platform said on Friday.

It defines political content as content that references a candidate, political party, elected or appointed government official, election, referendum, ballot measure, legislation, regulation, directive or judicial outcome.

“Ads that contain references to political content, including appeals for votes, solicitations of financial support, and advocacy for or against any of the above-listed types of political content, are prohibited under this policy,” said Twitter.

On October 31, Dorsey tweeted: “While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics.”

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A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo. VOA

News of the ban divided America’s political camps for the 2020 election. Brad Parscale, manager of President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, said the ban was “yet another attempt by the left to silence Trump and conservatives”.

Twitter said it also does not allow ads of any type by candidates, political parties, or elected or appointed government officials.

“News publishers who meet our exemption criteria may run ads that reference political content and/or prohibited advertisers under our political content policy, but may not include advocacy for or against those topics or advertisers,” it elaborated.

Dorsey had explained his position in a thread of tweets.

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“We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Why? A few reasons…” he tweeted.

Internet political ads, he said, presented “entirely new challenges to civic discourse”. These challenges included “machine learning-based optimization of messaging”, “micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes”.

Experts said the onus is now on Facebook which has become a platform for spreading misleading and fake political ads. (IANS)