Triggering a massive row across the country, micro-blogging site Twitter removed the blue tick or verified badge from the personal Twitter handle of Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and a host of other prominent personalities.
While it was restored on Naidu’s account within a few hours following massive outrage, the blue tick on Bhagwat’s account restored after a few hours. Bhagwat’s handle has 206k followers.
India’s strong response Twitter was forced to take corrective measure and restore the blue verified badge on these accounts.
With regards to the fiasco surrounding Naidu’s handle, sources at Twitter indicated that the blue tick was removed as the personal account of the Vice President was inactive since July last year. An official statement from the platform is awaited. Naidu’s Twitter handle — @MVenkaiahNaidu — has 1.2 million followers.
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The official handle of the Vice President of India @VPSecretariat however continues to have the blue badge.
Political scientists say that Twitter needs to keep local sensitivities and profile of individuals concerned in mind before undertaking such drastic measures.
According to Twitter, the blue verified badge lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic. As per Twitter, verification is part of the social media platforms’ commitment to serving the public conversation by informing people of the authenticity of accounts with considering the public interest.
To be verified, an account must be notable, authentic, and active. The six types of notable accounts that Twitter currently verifies include Government Companies, brands and non-profit organisation, news organizations and journalists, entertainment, sports and sports, activists, organisers, and other influential individuals.
Twitter states that it may remove the blue verified badge and verified status of a Twitter account at any time and without notice if an account changes its username (@handle) or an account becomes inactive or incomplete or if the owner of the account is no longer for which position they were initially verified and do not otherwise meet our criteria for verification since leaving such position.
Twitter may also remove the blue verified badge from accounts that are found to be in severe or repeated violation of the Twitter Rules including impersonation or intentionally misleading people on Twitter by changing your display name or bio violations that result in immediate account suspension or repeated violations in Tweets, including but not limited to: hateful conduct policy, abusive behavior, glorification of violence policy, civic integrity policy, private information policy, or platform manipulation and spam policy.
Meanwhile, BJP Mumbai spokesperson Suresh Nakhua questioned Twitter on removing the blue badge from the Vice President’s Twitter handle and termed it an ‘assault on the Constitution of India’.
“Why did @Twitter @TwitterIndia remove Blue tick from the handle of Vice President of India Shri @MVenkaiahNaidu ji ? This is assault of Constitution of India,” tweeted Nakhua today. (With ANI Inputs)