Twitter Tells SC Lawyer Sanjay Hegde It Won’t Restore His Account

Hegde says he may be left with no option but to take legal action, both domestic and international, against Twitter.

Updated
India
3 min read

Editor: Sandeep Suman

Senior Supreme Court advocate Sanjay Hegde, whose Twitter account was suspended twice in two days on 27 and 28 October, has been told the account will not be restored, according to an email sent by the networking site on Tuesday, 5 November.

Hegde confirmed the news to The Quint, stating, “Around 3 am this morning, Twitter sent me an email confirming that my account would not be restored.”

Hegde, who is a prominent social commentator on Twitter, with 98,000 followers, said that the suspension was for the cover photo on his account.

Hegde told The Quint that he is “examining all options” and could take legal action against Twitter.

“I am left with no option but to migrate to an alternate platform like Mastodon and to take Twitter and others to court on this. Am examining all options, including courts outside India.”
Sanjay Hegde, Senior Supreme Court advocate
A screenshot of the email that Twitter sent SC advocate Sanjay Hegde telling him that it won’t restore his account. 
A screenshot of the email that Twitter sent SC advocate Sanjay Hegde telling him that it won’t restore his account. 
(Photo Courtesy: Sanjay Hegde/Screenshot)

In its mail, Twitter clarified that Hegde’s account “has been suspended and will not be restored because it was found to be violating Twitter's Terms of Service.”

It further added that Hegde’s account had violated “specifically the Twitter Rules against using hateful or sensitive content in your profile.”

Soon after his account was suspended, a number of right-wing groups claimed credit for his account’s suspension. Hegde said that the entire episode was planned, and that Rashtriya Hindu Ekta Dal, a Hindutva outfit, had claimed credit for it.

“There is some group called Rashtriya Hindu Ekta Dal or something of that sort, which have claimed credit as have several others. There are people on Twitter who are revelling in the fact that they got my account suspended. There are people who are claiming credit. There is a fully organised troll factory and IT Cell that is behind it,” he told The Quint.

Suspended for ‘Hateful Imagery’

The microblogging site had suspended Hegde’s account, citing violation of “rules against posting”, interpreting his posts as “hateful imagery”.

“My account was suspended apparently because of my cover picture, which I have had for a long time. The cover picture was of August Landmesser at a Nazi rally where Hitler was present. Landmesser refused to do the Nazi salute when everybody around him was doing it,” Hegde said.

An image of August Landmesser refusing to perform the Nazi salute which Hegde had uploaded as his cover photo on Twitter. 
An image of August Landmesser refusing to perform the Nazi salute which Hegde had uploaded as his cover photo on Twitter. 
Photo: Wikipedia commons
Following outrage at his suspension, Twitter reinstated Hegde’s account on Monday, 28 October, after removing the photo. However, the very next day, it was suspended again.

“The next day, I woke up, and I was asked to delete a certain tweet which was a 2017 tweet. Kavita Krishnan, Secretary of the All India Progressive Women's Association, had tweeted a poem by a poet called Gorakh Pandey, which dealt with the hanging of peasants. She had also put out the English translation where the poetic refrain was ‘hang him’,” Hegde had said in a video interview to The Quint on 28 October.

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