Asia Coronavirus (COVID-19) Most Read Tech

Fri 30 April 2021:

Facebook hid posts with a hashtag calling for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s resignation by mistake, not because of the Indian authorities’ request, Andy Stone, Facebook spokesperson, told BuzzFeed news.

On Wednesday, the social network temporarily hid all posts with the hashtag #ResignModi citing community safety violation. All the posts were restored in course of three hours.

“We temporarily blocked this hashtag by mistake, not because the Indian government asked us to, and have since restored it,” Stone said, as quoted by US website on Thursday.

The Facebook users who tried to view the hashtag saw a message saying that Facebook was temporarily hiding the posts in order to keep the community safe.

In a statement given to The Verge late on Wednesday, Facebook said it has now restored the posts and the hashtag was blocked “by mistake”.

The company said that the Indian government did not ask to remove the hashtag.

Facebook also said that the block was the result of some of the content that used the hashtag, “but did not specify what kind of content”.


Twitter removes 50 tweets critical of India’s COVID management

Earlier this week, Twitter pulled down at least 50 tweets at the behest of the Indian government, that criticised the government for the poor handling of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The data available on Lumen database showed that the micro-blogging platform deleted more than 50 tweets that belonged to people like Revanth Reddy, an MP from Telangana; Moloy Ghatak, a West Bengal state minister; two filmmakers; an actor and others.

A Twitter spokesperson said in a statement that when it receives a valid legal request, it reviews it under both the Twitter Rules and local law.

“If the content violates Twitter’s Rules, the content will be removed from the service. In all cases, we notify the account holder directly so they’re aware that we’ve received a legal order pertaining to the account,” the company said in a statement.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that India’s government amid a record spike in COVID-19 cases and the shortage of oxygen in the country’s hospitals had requested Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to delete around 100 posts criticizing the government and calls for Modi’s resignation. The government explained this demand by saying that such publications could cause panic and impede the implementation of measures against the pandemic.

India has the second-highest COVID-19 toll in the world after the United States, having so far registered nearly 18 million cases and over 205,000 deaths.




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