Twitter’s global headquarter is likely to intervene in the latest fracas between the Indian government and Twitter India, after a series of disputes since last year, culminated in a raid on two of Twitter’s offices in India. Things came to a head when Delhi Police officials from the special cell raided Twitter’s offices in Delhi and Gurugram on Monday (May 24, 2021).
The Delhi Police’s special cell was acting under directives of the Indian home ministry. Following this, reports suggest that Twitter’s worldwide deputy general counsel and VP for legal Jim Baker will step in and look to resolve the situation.
According to TOI sources, Twitter could approach the US government after the row with the Narendra Modi-led Indian central government has escalated in the past week over the ‘manipulated media’ tag added to some tweets by members or supporters of the ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
While Twitter’s offices in Delhi and Gurugram were closed due to the Covid-19 lockdown, the company is yet to respond on the issue even after the Delhi Police’s special cell served a notice to Twitter India. As per the report, former US Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI) official Baker will lead the efforts from the Twitter HQ to resolve the matter. He had reportedly also stepped in during Twitter’s previous tussle with the government over tweets related to the farmer protests in India.
Twitter India’s offices in Delhi’s Lado Sarai and in Gurugram were raided by a special team of Delhi Police after the social media giant had flagged a tweet by BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra as ‘manipulated media’ on Friday (May 21).
Patra had tried to portray the alleged toolkit as a PR exercise of the Congress party on May 18. In the aftermath of Twitter’s action, the Delhi Police — which is under the direct control of the Union Home Ministry — sent a notice to Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari, asking him to appear in the Lodhi Colony office of the Deputy Commissioner (Special Cell) on May 22. Also, the Indian government has reportedly asked the micro-blogging site to remove its “manipulated media” tag which was attached to BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra’s tweet.