Delhi Police, run by India’s central government, raids Twitter offices over manipulated label

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Delhi Police, controlled by India’s central government, on Monday evening raided offices of Twitter in Delhi and Gurgaon as it sought more information on why the social network tagged one of the tweets by ruling partly BJP spokesperson as “manipulated media.”

Delhi Police IT Cell team vacated both of Twitter’s offices because the offices were closed and there were no Twitter employee to engage, many local TV channels reported.

A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment.

New Delhi sent a notice to Twitter last week after the social network labeled a tweet from Sambit Patra, the spokesperson of India’s ruling party BJP, as “manipulated media.”

In the tweet, Patra had claimed that Congress, the leading opposition party in India, was using a so-called “toolkit” to derail the Indian government’s efforts against the coronavirus pandemic. Alt News, a leading fact-checking organization in India, debunked Patra’s claim.

“Delhi Police is enquiring into a complaint in which clarification is sought from the Twitter regarding the classification of a tweet by Shri Sambit Patra (BJP spokesman) as ‘manipulative’. It appears that Twitter has some information which is not known to us on the basis of which they have classified it as such,” Delhi Police said in statements to local TV channels and other journalists.

“This information is relevant to the enquiry. Special Cell which is conducting the enquiry wants to find out the truth. Twitter which has claimed to know the underlying truth should clarify,” it added.

Several policy executives and the like questioned Delhi Police’s motives.

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