Twitter removes, restores verified badges of RSS chief Bhagwat, Vice-President Naidu | India News

NEW DELHI: Twitter removed and restored the verified badges from the accounts of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and three other senior functionaries on Saturday, shortly after the microblogging site had restored the verified badge of Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu.
The RSS sarsanghchalak is followed by 214k people, and follows only the verified handle of the RSS. He has not posted any tweets or retweets from his handle so far. Bhagwat’s account remained unverified for a few hours between 12pm and 5pm.
Earlier, Twitter had removed the verified badge of four senior RSS functionaries — Krishna Gopal @KGopalRSS (40.7k followers), Arun Kumar @ArunKumRSS (36.1k), Suresh Soni @SureshSoni1925 (34.1k followers), Suresh Joshi @SureshBJoshi (50.3k followers). A source in Twitter said the reason for the loss of the verified badge of these accounts was “inactivity”.


On Saturday, accounts of three of these functionaries — Joshi, Gopal and Kumar — were verified again. Mohan Bhagwat and #BlueTick were also two of the top 30 trends on Twitter with over 14.4 and 11k tweets around 3.30pm.
A look at the timelines of these handles show that Suresh Joshi has never posted anything from his handle. Arun Kumar and Suresh Soni started retweeting content from the official verified handle of RSS on Saturday, but they have only two posts on their timelines. Gopal has a total of five on his handle, with two of them having been posted on Saturday.
The blue tick that can be seen next to some Twitter account handles are verified badges provided by the platform to notable personalities cutting across professions.
Late on Friday, Twitter had revoked the verified badge from Naidu’s personal handle @MVekaiahNaidu, leading to an outcry. The microblogging platform restored the blue tick early on Saturday after outrage.
The handle is followed by over 1.3 million people, and had last tweeted on July 23, 2020. Naidu’s official vice president account (@VPSecretariat) had remained unaffected. Naidu tweets regularly from his official handle, and has over 933k followers.
According to Twitter, Naidu’s verification was revoked because of “inactivity”. Twitter’s rules state that the account holder must make sure to log in once at least every 6 months for the account to remain active.
The company’s verified account policy also explains that accounts may automatically lose their verified status if they change their username, become inactive or incomplete and if they repeatedly violate Twitter’s rules. A complete Twitter account is defined as one which includes a “verified email address or phone number, a profile picture and a display name”.
Meanwhile, cartoonist Manjul Jain received an email from the microblogging site that some of his content violated Indian law. Twitter notified the cartoonist, who has been critical of the Centre’s mismanagement of the Covid-19 crisis, that the government was seeking action against his profile instead of the tweets he had posted.
“We have not taken any action on the reported content [@Manjultoons] at this time as a result of this request,” Twitter said in an email to Manjul. “Jai ho Modi ji ki sarkaar ki [Hail the Modi government],” Manjul wrote on Twitter, while sharing the email. He added that it would have been better if the government had told him which tweets of his were objectionable.

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