Adv Sanjay Hegde explores legal action against Twitter

Senior advocate Sanjay Hegde (PTI Photo)

With his account suspended over tweets that Twitter's algorithm ruled as objectionable, senior advocate Sanjay Hegde is all set for a legal battle. Undeterred by Twitter's dismissal of his appeal against the suspension, Hegde has now decided to approach the courts, even outside India.

“We are planning a court action. All options are being examined,” he told DH. Hegde is convinced that the suspension of his account was triggered by mass reporting of a tweet that was not objectionable in any manner, by the 'IT cells'.

On October 27, Hegde had posted a picture of August Landmesser, a historical figure who had refused to do the Nazi salute at a rally where everyone else did. But Twitter's algorithm misjudged that iconic picture against majoritarianism as a Nazi image. His account was blocked.

But a massive uproar online forced Twitter to restore his account the next day. However, in another twist, the account was blocked again. Reason: He had shared a poem titled 'Hang Him' in 2017!  

Hegde explained that he had retweeted Gorakh Pande's poem posted by Kavita Krishnan. It was about the hanging of two peasant revolutionaries in Independent India. Twitter told Hegde that his account would be restored again if the objectionable post was removed. But he refused.

Often trolled for his criticism of government policies, Hegde is convinced that the account was blocked at the instigation of the troll factories and IT cells. Twitter, he says, should not be a party to this 'online lynching.'

Hegde's strident criticism of the government on various policy issues, through his Twitter handle @sanjayuvacha, had earned him about one lakh followers. But the tweets had also attracted several critics, many of whom would attack him viciously.

To keep his social media voice active, Hegde has decided to migrate to an alternate platform while exploring legal action against Twitter and other agencies associated with the suspension. Several senior advocates have reportedly assured support for the legal action.

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