Twitter has come into spotlight yet again for its biased political approach, as it locked BJP spokesperson, Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga’s account over an innocuous tweet, on the pretext of violating Twitter Rules. His account has been locked over a sarcastic tweet about Shiv Sena. He also shipped off Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay’s patriotic classic, Anandmath to Uddhav Thackeray, taking a jibe at the Shiv Sena president over how the recent special session of the Maharashtra Assembly had started without playing India’s National Song, Vande Marram, violating the rules of the House.
In his tweet, he took a dig at the Shiv Sena president for deserting Shivaji, who was once the idol of the Shiv Sena and said, “Booked copy of Anandmath for Afzal Sena chief.” He also tagged Uddhav Thackeray.
— Vikas Pandey (@MODIfiedVikas) December 2, 2019
This incident further strengthens the claims of Twitter’s political bias. Last year, the microblogging platform had faced severe criticism owing to its antics of targeted against right wing accounts which started facing an acute drop in the number of followers and rise in suspensions. However, by locking Bagga’s account, Twitter has shown that its bias is not only ideological but also political.
Shiv Sena is far-right in its political approach, or has at least pretended to be as such in public discourse. However, Twitter now seems to have maintained double standards in favour of even the Shiv Sena. It seems that in order to enjoy a privileged status on Twitter, all one needs to do is to be anti-BJP. The Shiv Sena which has no ideological semblance with any of the handles which were till now seen as getting special treatment on the microblogging platform suddenly seems to be enjoying similar treatment.
Bagga’s tweet is an innocuous expression of larger public sentiment. Several Twitter handles get away with posting much more obnoxious, hateful and distasteful tweets. Take a look at this casteist distasteful tweet from a verified Twitter handle of ‘journalist’ Nikhil Wagle, for example, which exclaimed that no one should care for 3 per cent Brahmins in Maharashtra. People get away with abusing and defaming PM Modi on Twitter, and that does not violate Twitter Rules. In such a background, one fails to understand how Bagga’s tweet calling Shiv Sena, ‘Afzal Sena’, named after terrorist Afzal Guru, warranted such serious action by Twitter.
It is said Brahmins of Maharashtra are unhappy with Fadnavis’ exit. They thought it was their government. But Bahujans and rural masses are very happy to have this new anti-BJP government led by Uddhav https://t.co/a4uw1zBB86 is a clear polarisation. Who cares for 3 % Brahmins!
— nikhil wagle (@waglenikhil) November 27, 2019
— itisha (@ItiTish) November 26, 2019
This incident not only strengthens the claims of Twitter being anti-Right wing, but also hints at the possible modus operandi of supporting every anti-BJP Twitter handle active on the social media platform.