India’s government asks Twitter to remove posts critical of its handling of the pandemic

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The Indian government has requested Twitter to remove a number of tweets which have criticized its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, in accordance with a press release launched on Sunday.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology stated it had taken the motion, “in view of the misuse of social media platforms by certain users to spread fake or misleading information and create panic about the Covid-19 situation in India by using unrelated, old and out of the context images or visuals, communally sensitive posts and misinformation about Covid-19 protocols.”

The government assertion stated it requested Twitter to remove round 100 posts or URLs, following suggestions from the Ministry of Home Affairs, saying: 

“It is pertinent to mention that at a time, when the entire country is putting up a brave and honest effort to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, certain people are misusing social media to create panic in society.”

“The Government welcomes criticisms, genuine requests for help, as well as suggestions in the collective fight against Covid-19, but it is necessary to take action against those users who are misusing social media during this grave humanitarian crisis for unethical purposes,” the assertion stated.

The transfer comes as India’s prime minister faces mounting anger as Covid-19 instances and deaths proceed to rise, making a massive public health crisis across the nation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi solely addressed the nation on the scenario for the first time final week, having held political rallies and largely downplayed the second wave’s urgency in the weeks earlier than.

India reported 352,991 new instances and a pair of,812 virus-related deaths Monday, marking the world’s highest every day caseload for the fifth straight day. 

A Twitter spokesperson advised CNN on Monday in a press release that it has withheld some of these tweets, following a authorized request by the Indian government.

“When we receive a valid legal request, we review it under both Twitter rules and local law,” the spokesperson stated, including:

“If the content violates Twitter’s rules, the content will be removed from the service. If it is determined to be illegal in a particular jurisdiction, but not in violation of the Twitter rules, we may withhold access to the content in India only.” 

“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 Twitter assertion added.

The requests to withhold content material are printed on the Lumen database, a Harvard University venture.

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