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Twitter suspends over 550 accounts, flags tweets over Republic Day violence during farmers’ tractor rally

A Twitter spokesperson said the microblogging platform has also labelled tweets that were found to be in violation of its 'synthetic and manipulated media policy'.

January 27, 2021 / 07:06 PM IST
Police used tear gas to disperse farmers who marched to the capital during India's Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi. (Image: AP)

Police used tear gas to disperse farmers who marched to the capital during India's Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi. (Image: AP)

Social media giant Twitter said on January 27 that it suspended more than 550 accounts in view of the violence that erupted during the farmers’ tractor rally on the Republic Day of India.

A Twitter spokesperson said these suspended accounts were found to be engaging in “spam and platform manipulation” connected to the tractor rally that turned violent on January 26.

The spokesperson told news agency ANI that Twitter has also labelled tweets that were found to be in violation of its “synthetic and manipulated media policy”.

The spokesperson said: “We (Twitter) have taken strong enforcement action to protect the conversation on the service from attempts to incite violence, abuse, and threats that could trigger the risk of offline harm by blocking certain terms that violate our rules for trends.”

“Using a combination of technology and human review, Twitter worked at scale and took action on hundreds of accounts and Tweets that have been in violation of the Twitter Rules and suspended more than 550 accounts engaged in spam and platform manipulation.”

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“We are monitoring the situation closely and remain vigilant, and strongly encourage those on the service to report anything they believe is in violation of the rules,” the Twitter spokesperson added.

Farmers had broken police barricades to enter Delhi and deviated from the route assigned to them to carry out the tractor rally on Republic Day. They had also resorted to vandalism in several parts of Delhi after the protests turned violent.

As many as 22 FIRs have been registered in connection with the Republic Day violence, in which more than 300 security personnel sustained injuries.

The Delhi Police FIR names farmer leaders Darshan Pal, Balbir Singh Rajewal, Buta Singh Burjgil, Rajinder Singh, and Joginder Singh Ugraha for breaching the no objection certificate (NOC) issued for the farmers’ tractor rally.

Two hundred people have been detained by the Delhi Police for inciting and engaging in the violence.
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