The Indian government ordered Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to remove posts criticizing the COVID-19 handling and sparking protests against censorship Wall Street Journal.
The South Asian country requested that social media platforms remove around 100 posts, arguing that the posts contained misinformation. Some of these posts reportedly included pictures of bodies, while others were from public figures including MP Revanth Reddy, actor Vineet Kumar Singh and West Bengal minister Moloy Ghatak, the Indian news agency said. midwife.
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“Certain people abuse social media to create panic in society,” the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said in a statement on Monday.
Most of the shutdown requests went to Twitter, which corresponded to the order.
“If we receive a valid legal request, we will review it according to Twitter rules and local laws,” said a Twitter spokesman TechCrunch. “If the content violates Twitter rules, it will be removed from service. If the content is found to be illegal in a particular jurisdiction but does not violate Twitter rules, we will only be able to access the content in India refuse. Overall. ” In these cases, we will notify the account holder directly so that they know that we have been given jurisdiction in relation to the account. “
Facebook, which owns Instagram, also removed the posts, although it does not appear to be public on the matter.
As a result, a wave of setbacks on social media followed the massive removal of the posts, with users accusing the Indian government of censorship. The criticism comes from the fact that India recorded more than 330,000 new COVID cases on Monday, making it the epicenter of the global pandemic.
Despite being a democratic country, India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has taken a tough line on freedom of expression. For example, earlier this year the government ordered Twitter to delete a magazine account when Indian farmers protested the deregulation of the country’s agribusiness. The order was part of a widespread effort to limit positions critical of the government of the time.