Twitter on Saturday said it restored Rahul Gandhi's account after the Congress leader submitted a consent letter from the family of a victim of alleged rape and murder in the city for use of images but continues to withhold the tweets that contain the images saying they violate India's laws.
Accounts of Gandhi, Congress and other party leaders had been locked for tweeting pictures of the family of a nine-year-old victim of alleged rape and murder in Northwest Delhi.
While the accounts have been unlocked, the contentious pictures and tweets are not visible. PTI reached out to Twitter to understand if the tweets were deleted by Gandhi or by Twitter.
"As part of the appeal process, @RahulGandhi (the official Twitter handle of Rahul Gandhi) has submitted a copy of the formal consent/authorisation letter to use the referenced image via our India Grievance Channel," Twitter spokesperson said.
The law provides that identity of a juvenile victim of sexual assault cannot be disclosed. Tweeting pictures of the family violated that and so the accounts were locked. During the period the accounts were locked, the owner could access the account but not allowed to send out new tweets. This was to allow them to delete the contentious tweets. But neither Gandhi nor Congress and its leaders did that. Instead they submitted a consent letter from the family of the alleged rape victim for use of their images.
"We have followed the necessary due diligence process to review the appeal in order to protect the safety and privacy of the affected individuals. We have updated our enforcement action based on the consent provided by the people depicted in the image," Twitter spokesperson said. "The Tweet is now withheld in India and the account access has been restored." All Congress accounts have been unlocked.
In response to the locking, Gandhi had on Friday accused Twitter of "interfering in the national political process" and said shutting down of his handle amounted to an "attack on the country's democratic structure."
"As explained in our Country Withheld Policy, it may be necessary to withhold access to certain content in accordance with valid legal provisions under the Indian law(s). The withholding actions are limited to the specific jurisdiction/country where the content is determined to be unlawful and remains available elsewhere," the Twitter spokesperson said.