Facebook removes Rahul Gandhi’s post for breach of policy

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According to Twitter, Facebook removed content posted by Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi that identified the family of a nine-year-old victim of an alleged rape and murder in northwest Delhi, alleging that it was violating the guidelines of the social media platform. According to sources, Facebook has informed Gandhi and the National Commission for the Protection of Children’s Rights (NCPCR) about the removal of the posts from Facebook and Instagram.

Earlier this week, Facebook wrote to Gandhi asking him to remove the said post from Instagram – Facebook’s photosharing platform.

“We have taken steps to remove the content as it violates our guidelines,” a Facebook spokesman said in an email statement on Friday.

Facebook takes action against content if it violates its community standards or if it receives a valid legal request under Indian law.

Last week, the NCPCR urged Facebook to take appropriate action against Gandhi’s Instagram profile for violating the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act of 2015, the Child Protection from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO) of 2012, and the Indian Criminal Code, and requested its removal of the video from the platform.

Following Facebook’s announcement to Gandhi last week, the NCPCR withdrew its instruction to the company to appear before the commission with a statement of non-compliance with Gandhi’s post.

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Earlier this month, Gandhi met the nine-year-old girl’s family and claimed that he was with them on the path to justice and would “not shrink an inch”. He later posted a picture of his meeting with the girl’s parents on Instagram.

Similar posts were also shared on Twitter. The microblogging platform had blocked accounts of Gandhi and many other congressional leaders who tweeted the controversial post. On August 14, Twitter restored Gandhi’s account after the congressional leader filed a consent form from the victim’s family.

However, Twitter continues to withhold the tweets that contain the images claiming they are in violation of Indian law.

“As part of the appeal process, @RahulGandhi (the official Twitter handle of Rahul Gandhi) submitted a copy of the formal letter of consent / authorization to use the referenced image through our India Grievance Channel,” said a Twitter spokesman.

The law stipulates that the identity of a juvenile victim of sexual assault must not be disclosed. The tweeting of pictures of the family violated it and so the accounts were blocked. During the period that the accounts were locked, the owner could access the account but not send new tweets. This should allow them to delete the controversial tweets.

But neither Gandhi, nor Congress and its leaders did. Instead, they filed a declaration of consent from the alleged rape victim’s family to use their pictures.

“We performed the necessary due diligence process to investigate the complaint in order to protect the security and privacy of the data subjects. We have updated our enforcement measures based on the consent of the people in the picture, “said the Twitter spokesman called.

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