Social media platform Twitter briefly removed India VP Venkaiah Naidu’s “blue tick” but had to restore it after receiving severe backlash. The blue tick is a badge which lets twitter users know that the account of a public figure is genuine and all the information from that account is coming from that person or their office.


Twitter is amid new controversy. The US based social media platform has been part of heated debates recently. Earlier last month, the company was in a soup when it labelled a few tweets by BJP spokesperson and BJP officials ‘manipulated media’. After the incident, the platform’s Delhi-based offices were visited by the Delhi Police as the IT department of Delhi Police stated that it had received “ambigious” replies from Twitter regarding the matter.

Also Read: WhatsApp using ‘trick consent’ to make people accept privacy policy: Centre tells Delhi HC


On June 5, social media giant Twitter withdrew the “verified” blue tick badge from the personal account of India Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu. This constituted as another flashpoint in the ongoing Centre VS Twitter row. After backlash from government, the company ended up restoring the blue tick.

Twitter’s act “contempt to constitutional post”: MeitY

According to reports, the company will again be served with a notice by the MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and IT) which will ask as to why the company removed the verified badge without “prior intimation”. Reportedly, the Government sources said how the act from Twitter’s side was a “contempt of a constitutional post” and how the company is testing “India’s patience”.

Also Read: Manipulated Media Controversy: Delhi Police makes visit to Twitter office to probe ‘manipulated media’

The Real Reason for VP Naidu’s ‘Un-Verification’

After the situation cleared, the Vice President’s office clarified that the verification badge ‘blue tick’ was removed due to “inactivity”. News agency ANI quoted an official from the Vice President’s office saying-

“The personal account of Venkaiah Naidu was inactive for six months and the blue badge has gone.”

While the government officials were critical of the social media platform’s move, it should be noted that the Vice President did in fact tweet from his personal handle last year, on July 23.

But that didn’t stop the Centre’s official pointing out that the act was an outrageous one against the country’s constitutional head who comes ‘Number 2’ in the hierarchy. Further, the officials gave reference to the Twitter accounts of Arun Jaitley & Sushma Swaraj who even after their deaths, had their account kept as verified.


“Vice President above politics. Can Twitter do this in America?” IT Ministry

The MeitY government officials questioned whether the social media platform can do the same with American political leaders.

“The Vice President is above politics. It is a constitutional post. Can Twitter do the same with American leaders in constitutional posts,”

-IT ministry raised the conundrum.

Similarly, BJP spokesperson Suresh Nakhua also questioned Twitter’s move and called it an ‘assault’ to India’s constitution. In one of his tweets, Mr. Nakhua wrote “Why did @Twitter @TwitterIndia remove Blue tick from the handle of Vice President of India Shri @MVenkaiahNaidu ji? This is an assault of Constitution of India.”

What does Twitter’s policy on verification say?

From Twitter’s policy standpoint, any account’s verification status may be changed at any time without prior intimation. The company’s verification policy states-

“You may lose your badge if you change your account name (@handle), if your account becomes inactive or incomplete, or if you are no longer in the position you initially were verified for – such as an elected government official who leaves office – and you do not otherwise meet our criteria for verification.”

Centre VS Twitter: The flashpoints so far

Twitter’s move to unverify the Indian Vice President comes amid the ongoing row between the platform and Centre. Earlier last month, the company sought amendments to the new IT Rules which other social media platforms like Google, Facebook, Instagram have agreed to comply with.

In its statement, Twitter spokesperson said-

“Twitter strives to comply with applicable law in India. We continue to be strictly guided by principles of transparency, a commitment to empowering every voice on the service, and protecting freedom of expression and privacy under the Indian law.”

The defiance to complying with IT Rules isn’t the only controversy the company has found itself in. Last month, the company received severe criticism from BJP officials after the former labelled the latter’s spokesperson Sambit Patra’s tweet as ‘manipulated media’.

Also Read: ‘Manipulated Media’ Controversy: Tweets by 5 BJP Politicians labelled Manipulated Media by Twitter