Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP chief JP Nadda or other party leaders are not on microblogging site Tooter, a knockoff of social media giant Twitter, the party clarified today.
"Please note that neither the BJP or any of its state units, nor Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP National President JP Nadda have a presence on Tooter," the BJP's Amit Malviya tweeted this afternoon.
Tooter, which describes itself as a "Swadeshi social network", has an account with a blue tick that has same picture and posts shared on PM Modi's official Twitter handle. However, it's not clear how Tooter verifies its users.
Please note that neither the BJP or any of its state units, nor Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP National President J P Nadda have a presence on Tooter.— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) January 11, 2021
Another BJP spokesperson - Suresh Nakhua - hit out at the online platform in a tweet this afternoon. "I think tweet by @amitmalviya settles the issue of presence of dignitaries on the platform. Now will Tooter clarify 1) With whose permission the handles made ? 2) How did the handles got verified ? 3) Who is posting on behalf of these handles ? (sic)," he posted. Tejinder Pal Bagga, another spokesperson, shared reports to dismiss speculations.
I think tweet by @amitmalviya settles the issue of presence of dignitaries on the platform.— Suresh Nakhua (सुरेश नाखुआ) (@SureshNakhua) January 11, 2021
Now will Tooter clarify
1) With whose permission the handles made ?
2) How did the handles got verified ?
3) Who is posting on behalf of these handles ? https://t.co/BCiMaaTSrP
The party's assertion comes days after Tejasvi Surya, a BJP MP who heads the party's youth wing, slammed social media giants, while commenting on Twitter's permanent ban on US President Donald Trump over the violence at US Capitol Hill last week. "Twitter may say he has violated certain norms but my concern is all tech giants have such big monopolies of information broadcasting (and) have biased algorithms. Why are we giving them rights to alter our rights? This is the big question democracies must answer," he said.
The interface of Tooter, which was reportedly created last year, is a cross-over between Facebook and Twitter. In its Terms of Service page, the platform stresses that the platform has been created for "free speech".
"We believe that India should have a Swadeshi social network. Without one we are just a digital colony of American Twitter India Company, no different than what we were under the British East India Company," reads the About Tooter page.