New Delhi/Ahmedabad: The Twitter account of Amul was briefly blocked, sparking public outrage, but the social networking and microblogging firm on Saturday said the account was restricted after being caught in the platform’s security processes.
Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) – which makes Amul brand of food products – found its Twitter account blocked on June 4 evening. The account was restored on June 5.
Some sought to link the blockage to Amul advertising for use of its Make in India products and boycott Chinese products. Amul had posted ‘Exit the Dragon’ tweet on June 3 afternoon and its account went down on June 4 evening.
— Amul.coop (@Amul_Coop) June 3, 2020
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.
Twitter did not link the account restriction to the advertisement.
“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,” a Twitter spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
Once the account clears this security step, the account regains full access, the statement added.
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“To protect the accounts, we routinely require them to clear this security key for login verification,” the spokesperson said.
Amul Managing Director R S 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.
“Our Twitter account was blocked on the night of June 4 and restored on June 5 morning when we again took up the process of reactivation with Twitter,” he said.
“Had a call from Shri Manish Maheshwari MD Twitter India, clarifying the issue that the account was blocked due to technical reasons and not in relation to the content published,” he tweeted on Saturday evening.
Twitter was abuzz with discussions of Amul account being restricted with several users expressing shock, while many questioning the move.
Twitteratis had linked the restriction of Amul’s account with the brand’s campaign, supporting boycott of Chinese products. The brand figured among top trending topics in India even on Saturday with over 33,000 tweets.
In the campaign, Amul’s iconic girl in white and red polka dots dress is seen fighting a dragon that is carrying a ‘Made in China’ placard. The picture contains the logo of TikTok (a Chinese short video platform) as well.
The creative carries a tagline ‘Amul Made In India’ referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for self-reliant India.
“As far as the cartoon is concerned, it is not Amul’s comment. Amul butter girl comments on the mood of the nation and the topics which are in discussions among the common people,” Sodhi said.
He said the Amul girl campaign is on since the last 55 years, and the mascot generally talks about topical subjects, reflecting the mood of the nation in a funny way.
The company learnt of the Twitter account being blocked through a forward. “When we requested Twitter for re-activation, the account was restored,” Sodhi said earlier.
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