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Twitter MD questioned in Bengaluru last month in 'toolkit' case

Manish Maheshwari faced questions from Delhi Police's Special Cell on May 31 on the company's policy behind flagging tweets as 'manipulated media'
Last Updated : 17 June 2021, 11:59 IST

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Delhi Police quizzed Twitter India's Managing Director Manish Maheshwari in Bengaluru last month in connection with the flagging of senior BJP leader Sambit Patra's Covid-19 'toolkit' tweets as "manipulated media", officials said on Thursday.

Maheshwari faced questions from Delhi Police's Special Cell on May 31 on the company's policy behind flagging tweets as "manipulated media".

Sources said he was also questioned about the information it has about the toolkit and how Twitter arrived at the conclusion that Patra's tweets contained "manipulated" information.

The questioning came on the heels of a war of attrition between the Centre and the social media giant after the latter refused to remove the tag from Patra's tweets, which accused Congress of using a toolkit that gave directions to its supporters to defame the country.

Days before his questioning, a Delhi Police team had visited the offices of Twitter in south Delhi and Haryana's Gurugram, which was seen as an attempt to coerce the micro-blogging site to fall in line. At the same time, Twitter is also at loggerheads with the government over the new Information Technology rules.

Besides Opposition politicians and activists, Twitter had come out with a statement raising "concerns with regards to the use of intimidation tactics by the police in response to enforcement of our global Terms of Service, as well as with core elements of the new IT Rules".

Delhi Police hit back at Twitter claiming that its statement was "not only mendacious but designed to impede a lawful inquiry" and seek "dubious sympathy" while refusing to share information it possesses.

Congress had accused BJP's Patra of sharing a "forged" toolkit in its name and Twitter had classified it as manipulated media following which the government asked Twitter to drop the tag. Congress had also urged Twitter to permanently suspend the accounts of BJP chief JP Nadda and others for spreading the "fake" toolkit.

Congress leaders Rajiv Gowda and Rohan Gupta, who had filed a complaint with Delhi Police, were also summoned to join the investigations but they had replied that Chhattisgarh Police have already registered a case and they were proceeding with that case. Delhi Police has so far not registered a case though it has instituted a preliminary enquiry.

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Published 17 June 2021, 11:25 IST

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