In an irony or sorts, it has been reported that the Twitter account belonging to the Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology, Milind Deora (@milinddeora) has been suspended. While the clear reason behind the account being suspended is not known at the moment, it comes close on the heels of the popular microblog closing down six fake PMO Twitter accounts. Times of India reports that it is even being speculated that the account may have been reported as being a fake or offensive by someone, using Twitter's Report Violations tool – accessible to any user. As aforementioned in one of our previous articles, Twitter does not have its offices in India. It is being believed that if the account suspension is a temporary thing, then it should be back soon.
Milind Deora's Twitter account suspended
However, reports add that sources at Deora's office say that Twitter has been told to verify the account, leading to the account being inaccessible, and added that it will be back in 24 hours. The report adds, “However, Twitter's usual verification process doesn't require suspension of accounts. The website has verified thousands of accounts, including the account maintained by Prime Minister's Office (PMO), and has given a blue insignia to them. But none of these accounts were suspended.” Twitter, reportedly, even emailed Deora after suspending his account, asking him to verify that his ID – @milinddeora is genuine.
The report adds further, “Last night he tweeted that by asking Twitter to remove certain accounts and content in the wake of Assam riots, government was not trying to censor anything but was just trying to stop the misinformation and rumours. Ironically, let me clarify on Twitter that there is absolutely no intent of the government to curb freedom of social media platforms.”
Recently, we had reported about six Twitter accounts resembling the Prime Minister's official account – PMOIndia, reportedly being shut down after the content on them was found to be objectionable. Reports a couple of days ago confirmed that Twitter agreed to block all those fake accounts after the government put forth a 12-hr deadline.
The incident has no connection with the recent chronology of events, wherein websites with objectionable content are being shut to curb communal tension in the country. According to reports, the PMO asked the Cyber Security Cell of the Department of Information and Technology to block these six Twitter accounts, since in all possibility the fake accounts could be mistaken for the real one and lead to serious consequences. The issue, which is now about two months old, had been referred to Twitter, but since nothing moved post that, the matter went in to the hands of the Cyber Security Cell. Quoting sources, the report added that, “these accounts contained certain content having communal overtones and it could be dangerous.”