Lok Sabha MP and senior BJP leader, Anurag Thakur has issued a stern warning to Twitter over Twitter itself. The micro-blogging platform has been embroiled in controversies for quite some time now and has been facing widespread criticism for shadow banning and targeting a specific ideology. Now, Anurag Thakur has tweeted about the allegations of biases and prejudices against Twitter. In a tweet, he made it clear that all eyes were on Twitter India and also advised, “Twitter users are requested to flag anything they find suspicious – across party lines – during Indian elections.”
— Chowkidar Anurag Thakur (@ianuragthakur) March 21, 2019
With his tweet, he also retweeted an old video in which an engineer can be seen saying that Trump supporters’ tweets are bots, and “you just delete them.” He can also be heard saying, “they’ll all be like God, ‘Merica, and with the American flag and, like the cross… Who talks like that? It’s for sure a bot.” It clearly shows the level of ideological bias and prejudice that has become a part of the social networking platform.
Twitter engineer thinks Trump supporters' tweets are bots, and "you just delete them." Says "they'll all be like God, 'Merica, and with the American flag and, like the cross… Who talks like that? It's for sure a bot." pic.twitter.com/dwLhyf7cQk
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) March 21, 2019
Last year, it was reported that Twitter CEO in an interview given to CNN Sunday had agreed to the fact that his employees are mostly left-leaning but then tried to make up for it by saying that Twitter does not indulge in shadow banning. His assent to the fact that the number of left-leaning employees of Twitter far outnumber the neutral or right leaning ones is proof that Twitter has indeed been indulging in shadow banning. If not by banning the right-leaning accounts then certainly by drowning their content and curtailing its reach on the platforms through shadow banning. Later, in the month of November, it was reported that it seemed as if Twitter India was targeting right-wing handles and limiting their outreach. It was not a mere apprehension or hunch but was being illustrated by practical ground realities. It could not be merely incidental that a number of right-wing or center-right Twitter handles suddenly started facing an acute drop in terms of the number of followers. It seems that there was a well-organised strategy of targeting a particular ideology at the major Social Media platform. A number of right-wing handles have complained about this in their tweets.
This year Twitter India was summoned by a Parliamentary committee to submit its view on the subject of “safeguarding citizens’ rights on social/online news media platform”. The summons had been sent by the Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology, headed by BJP leader Anurag Thakur. Twitter India was summoned after a volunteer group wrote to the Parliamentary committee accusing the Twitter India of being biased against right-wing Twitter accounts.
It is clear that the Lok Sabha polls are around the corner and at such a crucial juncture, big social media platforms such as Twitter are going to play a massive role. Given the allegations against the platform in the past, it is important that one should be careful in the coming days. By making it clear that all eyes will be on Twitter and also advising Twitter users to bring up such issues, BJP leader Anurag Thakur has done well to warn Twitter users on Twitter itself.
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