• Tuesday, June 28, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

Twitter triggers outrage after briefly blocking Amul, cites ‘safety and security’ reasons

The Amul girl ad that triggered an online controversy.

By: Eastern Eye Staff

A DAY after Twitter sparked public outrage by restricting Indian brand Amul’s account, the microblogging platform has clarified the actions was part of its routine security processes.

The Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation — which owns the Amul brand of food products — found its Twitter account blocked on June 4 evening.

On accessing the account, a message saying: “This account is temporarily restricted. You’re seeing this warning because there has been some unusual activity from this account. Do you still want to view it?” was displayed.

A screen grab of the restricted Amul account

The move left social media stirred, with many questioning the motive behind Twitter’s decision to restrict the account. Heightened tensions at the Indo-Chinese border added fuel to outrage.

Twitteratis linked the restriction of Amul’s account with the brand’s campaign, supporting an informal boycott of Chinese products. The brand figured among trending topics in India with over 11,500 tweets.

Former special forces commando and award-winning sportsman Major Surendra Poonia accused Twitter of giving a “lame excuse” for its actions.

In the campaign — titled “Exit the Dragon” — Amul’s iconic girl in white and red polka dots dress is seen fighting a dragon carrying a “Made in China” placard.

The creative, which also mentions TikTok, carries a tagline “Amul – Made In India”, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “vocal about local” call to boost self-reilance.

The Amul account was restored on Friday (5), after the company took up the issue.

On Saturday, a Twitter spokesperson said via email: “Safety and security of the accounts is a key priority for us and to ensure an account has not been compromised sometimes we require the account owner to complete a simple reCAPTCHA process.

“These challenges are simple for authentic account owners to solve, but difficult (or costly) for spammy or malicious account owners to complete.”

Amul managing director RS Sodhi said the company’s Twitter account was blocked on the night of June 4, and restored on June 5 morning when the issue was taken up with Twitter.

“As far as the cartoon is concerned, it is not Amul’s comment. The Amul girl comments on mood of the nation and the topics which are in discussions among the common people,” he said.

Eastern Eye

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