Twitter blocks 28 handles over behavioral issue, one claims to work with PMO

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New Delhi | Updated: July 10, 2018 11:10:01 AM

However, promoter of Apption Digital, the firm which is linked with most of these accounts, alleged the Twitter's move was a "conspiracy to defame him" and these accounts were "wrongly locked or suspended".

One of the handles that were blocked was @MyVoteToday that had reportedly conducted polls on Twitter.

Aiming to curb online abuse and intimidation, Twitter has blocked 28 handles last week, according to Indian Express report. Citing that the promoter was “running multiple accounts for abusive purposes”, Twitter vowed not to tolerate “behaviour” that “uses fear to silence another person’s voice”, the report said. However, promoter of Apption Digital, the firm which is linked with most of these accounts, alleged the Twitter’s move was a “conspiracy to defame him” and these accounts were “wrongly locked or suspended”.

“We take the safety of our users very seriously and do not tolerate behaviour that harasses, intimidates or uses fear to silence another person’s voice… Twitter Rules also state that you may not use Twitter’s services for the purpose of spamming anyone. This includes posting duplicative or substantially similar content, replies, or mentions over multiple accounts,” a Twitter spokesperson was quoted as saying by IE.

One of the handles that were blocked was @MyVoteToday that had reportedly conducted polls on Twitter. Apption Digital’s promoter Amit Bagaria cliamed that MyVoteToday is the world’s largest social media pollster based on average 44,000-plus votes per day for over one year. “From day one, we have done a lot of work for the PMO and recently started work for mygov.in. We have been influential on policy decisions. We are filing simultaneous defamation suits against Twitter in the USA of $300 million and criminal case of cheating and fraud in India,” he said. Bagaria claimed that he has sought an appointment with the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore on the action taken by Twitter.

Interestingly, a few users have claimed that Twitter notified them last week that @MyVoteToday was blocked based on their complaints which they had never made. Among them is B G Mahesh, a social media expert and also the co-founder-promoter of Apption Digital Technologies Pvt Ltd. Bagaria and his nephew Samridh Agarwal were the other two founder-promoters. On July 4, Mahesh tweeted: “Disappointed the way @TwitterIndia has been suspending accounts. I have never reported any account so far & I got a message now stating based on my report an account was suspended.”

According to The Washington Post, Twitter has been suspending more than one million fake and dubious accounts per day, in an aggressive bid to stem the flow of false information. The social media platform has more than doubled its crackdown rate since late last year, the Post said, when testimony from Twitter, Facebook and Google revealed startling new data showing many more millions of Americans were exposed to fake news than previously thought.

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