Twitter receives complaint about President Alvi's tweet on Srinagar, says it does not violate rules

Published August 26, 2019
President Arif Alvi joined the list of people whose accounts have been reported for posting about the lockdown and protests in occupied Kashmir. — Vice News screengrab
President Arif Alvi joined the list of people whose accounts have been reported for posting about the lockdown and protests in occupied Kashmir. — Vice News screengrab

President Arif Alvi has joined the list of people whose accounts have been reported for posting about the lockdown and protests in occupied Kashmir, according to an email by Twitter. However, the social media giant did not find the tweet to be in violation of its rules.

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari on Monday shared a screenshot of the email on her Twitter account, saying that the action was in "bad taste and simply ridiculous".

"Twitter has really gone too far in becoming mouthpiece of the Rogue Modi government!" she declared. "They sent a notice to our president! In bad taste and simply ridiculous."

The email, shared by Mazari, informed President Alvi that Twitter had received a complaint regarding a tweet he posted on August 24. It added that Twitter had "investigated the reported content and could not identify any violations of the Twitter rules or applicable law".

"Accordingly, we have not taken any action at this time," the email read.

Explainer: Legal notices to users — Twitter says it prefers to protect free speech

The tweet in question by President Alvi contained a video of a protest that was reportedly held in Srinagar.

"This is Srinagar yesterday despite curfews, bans, blackouts, teargas and firing," read the accompanying text in the tweet. "No amount of oppression and brutality can suppress the resentment of the Kashmiris against India. They want freedom at all costs. Please retweet and let the world know."

International media has been reporting about huge protests being held in occupied Kashmir, despite the Indian government's efforts to silence journalists and news outlets. The protests and demonstrations are being held against New Delhi's decision to revoke Article 370 of the constitution, despite a strict lockdown and communications blackout, that has been in place for the past three weeks.

In the past few weeks, several users have complained that their accounts were suspended for posting about events in occupied Kashmir. Last week, the government had specified about 200 accounts, that were suspended apparently for posting about occupied Kashmir, to Twitter. Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor had also announced that the authorities had taken up the issue with Twitter and Facebook "against suspending Pakistani accounts for posting in support of Kashmir. Indian staff at their regional headquarters is the reason”.

Twitter violations

According to Twitter Rules, accounts that post spam or abusive content are suspended temporarily. The website also suspend accounts that are suspected to have been hacked, until "it can be secured and restored to the account owner".

Moreover, tweets that are found to be in violation to the Twitter Rules are hidden behind an interstitial until the user deletes it. If the platform does not find a reported tweet to be in violation with its rules, it informs the user that a complaint was lodged against content posted by them but no action was taken, in order to maintain transparency.

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