Twitter India responds to 'bias' charges, says 'we are impartial, don't take action based upon any ideology, political viewpoint'

'We are impartial and do not take action based upon any ideology or political viewpoint.'

Twitter has released a statement in the form of a long thread to address the ongoing discussion of its rules and policy affecting Indian minority users on the platform. The thread tried to assure that the site is committed to inclusion and diversity as it is fundamental to the effectiveness of its service.

 Twitter India responds to bias charges, says we are impartial, dont take action based upon any ideology, political viewpoint

People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in this illustration picture taken in Warsaw September 27, 2013. Image: Reuters

The micro-blogging platform fell under controversy recently as it was accused of allowing caste discrimination and caste hierarchy. Several anti-caste activists and academicians claimed that Twitter has been imposing restrictions on accounts belonging to minority groups in India.

“Voices from across the spectrum can be seen and heard on Twitter and we are committed to the principles of openness, transparency, and impartiality,” mentioned the thread.

However, activists on Twitter raised their voices against the suppression of voices based on their caste which turned into a campaign with the hashtag #JaiBhimJaiPeriyar. This hashtag marks the coalition of Jai Bhim, a popular Dalit slogan used as a reference to hail Bhim Rao Ambedkar and Periyar Erode Venkatappa Ramasamy.

Twitter claims that the enforcement of its ‘Rules’ is carried out by a global team. The team is trained on topics including religion and caste to provide the necessary local context so that the appropriate evaluation can be done.

The online protests began after Twitter decided to abruptly disable the account of Professor Dilip Mandal, who is also a consulting editor at a news website. Mandal had tweeted on Wednesday, which formed the basis of the hashtag #cancelallBlueTicksinIndia.

To address the issue about the verification process, Twitter said that its public verification process is closed and it only verifies public figures who are “active in the public conversation.”

Twitter users didn’t take this statement lightly and many had a lot to say on how the platform dealt with such issues.

The thread ended with Twitter saying, “We are committed to serving an open public conversation in India and we will continue to be transparent in our efforts.”

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