Twitter India head was questioned in ‘Covid toolkit’ case

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 17, 2021

Twitter India Managing Director Manish Maheshwari was questioned by the Delhi Police’s Special Cell last month in connection with its probe into the ‘Covid toolkit’ case. He was questioned about the company’s policy on flagging tweets as ‘manipulated media’, according to multiple sources.

Neither the Delhi Police nor Twitter offered a comment on the developments. But, according to sources in Twitter, it cooperated with the authorities and made its global policy position clear. Delhi Police sources said a Special Cell team was sent to Bengaluru on May 31 to question Maheshwari.

The development came after Twitter labelled as ‘manipulated media’ a tweet by BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra on a ‘Covid Toolkit’, attributed to the Congress, on how to target the Centre over its handling of the Covid crisis. The row over the purported toolkit escalated after the Special Cell visited Twitter India offices on May 24 and served a notice, asking it to share information based on which Patra’s tweet had been tagged ‘manipulated media’.

The police action was criticised by the Congress and Left parties, which accused the government of trying to stifle free speech and intimidation.

The government had asked Twitter to remove the ‘manipulated media’ tag as the law enforcement agency was looking into the issue.

Published on June 17, 2021

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