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Rahul Gandhi’s stance on social media platforms vindicated: Congress after Twitter says it’s for healthy debate: The Tribune India


New Delhi, January 27

Congress on Thursday declared its leader Rahul Gandhi’s position that democracy and social media platforms cannot be suppressed or subjugated by the ruling government and allowed to become a space for mere abuse and trolls to be justified.

This came out after Twitter said it was committed to India and a healthy debate on its platform.

Gandhi had written to Twitter, accusing it of “unwitting complicity” in restricting free speech in India and expressed serious concerns about the “removal” of followers from his Twitter account.

Twitter, however, said the account’s follower count was “meaningful and accurate”.

Chief Congress Spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said Rahul Gandhi’s position was that social media platforms cannot be suppressed, subjugated and denigrated to the troll space and instead there should be healthy debate and discussion about them.

“Purality, multiculturalism, open debate, criticism of government policies and programs and that social media platforms should be a healthy forum for debates and discussions has been Rahul Gandhi’s position, which is now justified,” Surjewala told PTI.

In his letter to Twitter CEO Parag Aggarwal, Gandhi said: “I am writing to you on behalf of over a billion Indians not to allow Twitter to become a pawn in the destruction of the idea of India.

“I want to draw your attention to what I believe to be Twitter’s unwitting complicity in restricting freedom of expression in India,” Gandhi also said in his December 27 letter to Twitter.

In response to him, Twitter’s Vice President, Global Public Policy and Philanthropy, Sinead McSweeney said, “Twitter is deeply committed to India” and will ensure there is a healthy public conversation, which includes diverse voices, diverse viewpoints, allowing people to be better informed and to participate safely and comfortably.

Twitter also stressed that it does not arbitrarily censor political content and that elevating political debate and open speech is fundamental to its service and core values.

“We understand that increased transparency is the foundation for promoting healthy public conversation on Twitter and for building trust. We know it’s critical that people understand our processes and that we’re transparent about what results.

“We assure you that Twitter, Inc. treats its role as a platform service provider with the utmost seriousness and we have a deep commitment to India,” McSweeney said.

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