Scores of Twitter accounts linked to Jana Sena party suspended, party cries foul

About 300 Twitter handles of the Jana Sena party in Andhra Pradesh was suspended by the social media platform on Tuesday. The social media wing of Jana Sena has claimed the suspension by Twitter is a reaction to their campaign against the uranium mining in Nallamala forest in Telangana.

Speaking to TNM, the Social Media Coordinator for Jana Sena Party, Vinod Varma says that about 90 per cent of the party's Twitter handles were suspended as of Tuesday morning.

"The big handles with a large following have been suspended. The official social media account of our Shatagni team, which was very active, has been taken down. The account used to give direction to other fan accounts," says Vinod. He insists that the Twitter handles of the party do not engage in abuse or share derogatory content but instead engage in constructive criticism of the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments.

"We have a total of 400 to 500 Twitter handles who are volunteers, out of which some 300 are down," adds Vinod.

Some of the accounts that were suspended were @trends_JSPK, @PawanismNetwork, @WorldPSPKFans and @DasPSPK.

The account holders of the Twitter accounts on Tuesday received an email from Twitter stating the reason for the ban to platform violation and spam.

According to the policy any “coordinated activity, that attempts to artificially influence conversations through the use of multiple accounts, fake accounts, automation and/or scripting, can attract a suspension.” New accounts created for the same purpose will also be taken down warned the social media giant actively trying to crack down on bots and spams plaguing the platform.

The party claims that they analyzed the Twitter accounts that were suspended and found that all accounts that had tweeted about the Centre’s plan to mine uranium in Telangana’s Nallamalla forest.

Though Twitter says the party accounts were taken down for obvious violations, the party insists that there is a political conspiracy. "There is a conspiracy, we noticed that those who had taken part in both the campaigns were suspended," added Vinod.

The party claims their social media team was behind the hashtags 'YS JAGAN FAILED AS CM' and #SaveNallamala and coordinated the trend.

"That hashtag #SaveNallamana was an event started by us like for the last three days we did a campaign and got a KT Rama Rao (the Telangana MAUD Minister) reaction, as many celebrities also had come out in support. They have targeted only Jana Sena supporters because in social media we have huge support and that's the only voice we have, what is happening is the oppression of voice," he added.

Twitter rules say that using a trending or popular hashtag with an intent to subvert or manipulate a conversation or to drive traffic or attention to accounts, websites, products, services, or initiatives; and tweeting with excessive, unrelated hashtags in a single tweet or across multiple tweets can lead to suspension.

The Jana Sena Party is led by Telugu film actor Pawan Kalyan. The party recently contested the state elections held in 2018 and managed to win just one seat.

TNM is awaiting a reply from Twitter India.

Also read: India’s rush for nuclear power may destroy Nallamala forest ecosystem