The Congress leader said that since August, the average number of new followers has ‘fallen to nearly zero.’
NEW DELHI — Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi has written to Twitter complaining that his follower count has not increased since his account was temporarily suspended in August 2021 for a tweet about meeting the family members of a Dalit rape victim and questioned its policy on suppressing his reach to his followers and not curbing hate speeches in the country.
In the letter that he wrote to Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal on December 27 Rahul Gandhi said, “It is perplexing that growth in my Twitter follower has suddenly been suppressed, with nearly 20 million followers on my Twitter account very active adding 8 to 10 thousand followers daily.”
Gandhi said that in May his account gained 6,40,000 followers but since he raised the issue of the Dalit girl who died after she was raped in August, his average monthly follower count has “fallen to nearly zero”.
“I am writing to you on behalf of more than a billion Indians to not allow Twitter to become a pawn in the destruction of the idea of India… You have an enormous responsibility to ensure that Twitter does not actively help in the growth of authoritarianism in India,” Gandhi reportedly wrote to Twitter.
“I have been albeit discreetly informed by people of Twitter India that they are under immense pressure by the government to silence my voice,” he wrote, reports IANS.
He also mentioned how his account was blocked but Twitter at that time had said that following the complaint by the NCPCR, Gandhi’s Twitter account was temporarily suspended and the party, from his official handle, tweeted that due process was being followed for its restoration.
Rahul Gandhi, who joined Twitter in April 2015 and has 19.6 million followers on the social media platform, is expected to stay connected via other social media platforms.
However, Twitter website responded to Rahul Gandhi’s letter questioning about the drop in the number of followers highlighting “unwitting complicity in curbing free and fair speech.”
It has a zero-tolerance approach to manipulation and spam, said Twitter.
“Twitter has a zero-tolerance approach to platform manipulation and spam. We fight spam and malicious automation strategically and at scale with machine learning tools, and as part of those consistent and ongoing efforts to ensure a healthy service and credible accounts, follower counts can and do fluctuate,” a Twitter spokesperson said.
— With media inputs