Twitter Must Answer on ‘Bias’
   19-Feb-2019
Sinister attempts are being made to subvert the democratic and political process to dictate a biased narrative to influence the 2019 Election through popular social media platform specifically Twitter, the micro-blogging platform hijacked by neo-Left intellectuals, media, pseudo-seculars and jihadis
Ishkaran Singh Bhandari
 
That free and fair means of communication are sine quo non of democracy. If the means of communication are biased, restrict ability of any group or class of people on social, religious, political, ideological, or any other ground then democracy gets vitiated. This is made even worse if the means of communication are owned by a foreign company as that results in direct foreign interferences in our electoral process.

 
 
Twitter has displayed a persistent and systematic bias against users who are nationalistic in their thoughts and action. That concerned with how this was affecting our electoral process and national security, on January 28, 2019, I met the Hon’ble Minister of Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh and had handed over my representation highlighting the above biased behaviour, and had also discussed solutions to ensure free and fair elections. That later Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology issued summons to the Twitter officials on February 5, 2019.
 
 
 
Twitter is a foreign owned company operating in India. Its mission statement describes it as “The mission we serve as Twitter, Inc. is to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly without barriers. Our business and revenue will always follow that mission in ways that improve – and do not detract from – a free and global conversation.” Thus, it says it’s a platform for diverse views but in actuality it is behaving like a media content creator as it amplifies and promotes voices belonging to the Left-Wing ideology and suppressing Right-Wing voices by various means, which include:
 
  • “Downranking”: The practice of displaying particular tweets or users lower in timeline and search. 
  • Search Results : Where topics which have more tweets are lowered in trending or a topic/ trend is made to disappear.
  • Monitoring through “Shadow banning” is a moderation tactic for online discussions that hides an individual’s comments from other users involved in the conversation without letting the person know that their comments are hidden.
  • Suspension of accounts by Twitter against those individuals/accounts who either support Indic ideals or the current government. That the process of suspending or restricting accounts is completely biased and subjective. Multiple accounts that abuse Hindu Gods and Goddesses are allowed to continue but if even the any certain religious activities of either religion are questioned the accounts are suspended.
  • Re-tweets / Likes being monitored and deleted significantly: There are visible documentary proofs and analysis how this biasness and undemocratic practices are carried out.
  • Follower count of these handles are reduced by Twitter on political, ideological and religious grounds.

 
 
That after summons by parliamentary panel to twitter officials , the entire Left-Wing ecosystem in India which benefits from the biased approach of Twitter sprang into action objecting to the parliamentary summons and defending Twitter. Without regard to the fact, that in order to defend Twitter, they were attacking our parliamentary process.
 
 
 
They made two chief arguments, for why twitter officials cannot be summoned, firstly as it is a foreign company so it cannot be summoned by Indian parliament. This argument is legally incorrect, because if a foreign company operates, has business activities in India, it can be summoned by the Indian Parliament.
 
Second objection was that twitter is a Private Company so it cannot be summoned. This is also incorrect as Private Companies are regularly summoned by Indian Parliament on various issues, recently all the telecom companies were summoned under the 2G Scam.

 
 
Both these arguments are in complete ignorance of the law in India. These Anglo-Saxon lutyens children should know that US Congress had summoned the twitter officials and CEO of Twitter Mr Jack Dorsey had appeared before them on September 5, 2018 same is the position before Parliament in India and twitter officials will have to appear.
 
That in earlier times most common form of vitiating the electoral process was by physical capturing polling booths, but now electoral malpractices are done by fake news, biased media platforms and by controlling the means of communication, in which only one view or side of debate reaches the citizens and thus capture his mind and get him to vote on partisan information.
 
That Jack Dorsey the CEO of Twitter in an interview to Record Media said that ‘Twitter is so liberal, in fact, that conservative employees “don’t feel safe to express their opinions” within the company, that it is evident that in a company where even employees feel unsafe due to a Left liberal mafia pre dominating the company, the situation for users is even worse as this biasness of employees of Twitter affects how Twitter function, operates and takes action.
 
That in case Twitter does not satisfy the parliamentary panel, bring transparency and functions as a neutral platform, I will approach the Courts to get guidelines drawn on twitter as a biased platform of communication which has monopolistic dominance of political space and is a threat to free and fair elections & National Security.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Board of Control for Cricket in India & Anr. Vs Netaji Cricket Club and Ors. ([2005) 4 SCC 741] held:
 
“80. …It enjoys Monopoly status….it exercises enormous Public functions...
81. In law, there cannot be any dispute that having regard to the enormity of power exercised by it, the board is bound to follow the doctrine of “fairness” and “good faith” in all its activities… it has a duty to act reasonably. It cannot act arbitrary, whimsically or capriciously.”
 
Thus, Supreme Court has already decided that when a private entity preforms public functions its behaviour has to be fair, transparent and equitable and twitter due to its dominant position in a vital aspect of democracy, will need to ensure neutrality in its action.
 
The abuse of dominant position by Twitter is visible in how it has been selectively and deliberately targeting individual accounts belonging to nationalists that do not violate any of Twitter’s rules, guidelines of service, nor indulge in any kind of hateful speech, but are still subjected to various kinds of suppressions, including ‘shadow banning’, deletion of followers or even suspension of account. That in the last few days, Twitter has been significantly & consistently involved in discriminately decreasing & downranking the number of likes and re-tweets of many accounts including of the Prime Minister’s Office.
 
These biased practises of Twitter on account of Political, Religious or Ideological views of users is also visible in its verification process. Currently some accounts with 1,000 followers get verified while others with 50,000 followers or more are not verified in spite of submitting all details. The rules of verification of Twitter handles should be made objective and transparent, accounts with more than 5,000 followers who are willing to identified themselves should be automatically verified.
 
That the Leftist ecosystem rattled by questioning of Twitter and moves to make it transparent and accountable advised nationalist voices to stop using Twitter. This is a typical Leftist strategy to take over important institutions/ spaces of discussion by making situation so difficult and biased that opposing voices go away; giving them complete monopoly to create the narrative they want.
 
If nationalist go away from Twitter, it would give the Leftist mafia victory. But “Yeh naya Hindustan hai, yeh ghar me ghusega bhi, aur maarega bhi”. Thus, it will stay on Twitter, make it transparent, fair, dominate the narrative by reason and win election 2019. Jai Hind.
(The writer is an Advocate and appears frequently in media as expert)