Twitter bans tweets critical of the Indian government


With the outbreak of the Corona virus pandemic in India out of controlThe country’s government is taking drastic measures – on social media. On Thursday, the Indian government ordered Twitter to block more than 50 tweets critical of its handling of the pandemic. Twitter complied, preventing people in the country from viewing the posts from people including a minister of state, an opposition member of the Indian Parliament, filmmakers, an actor, two journalists, and several ordinary people.

On Saturday, Twitter released details about the matter to Lumens Database, Harvard University Project tracks government takedown notices around the world. Was the news I mentioned it first Powered by the Indian technology policy site Medianama.

When we receive a valid legal request, we review it under both Twitter and local law. If the content violates Twitter Rules, “The content will be removed from the service,” a Twitter spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. “If it is determined to be illegal in a particular jurisdiction, but not in violation of Twitter Rules, We may Access blocked On content in India only. ”The company said it notified people whose tweets had been restricted in India early, and told them that the company was responding to an order from the Indian government.

India’s Ministry of Information Technology did not respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News.

One of the forbidden Tweets Belongs to Maulvi Ghattak, All India Trinamall Party Minister from West Bengal, where Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently convened Massive election rallies Even as hundreds of thousands of Indians are testing positive for COVID-19 daily.

The Gatak tweet criticized Modi for mismanaging the epidemic.

The government also restricted dozens of tweets critical of Modi or posting pictures of India Crematoriums and hospitals are overflowing, In addition to prof tweet From the Indian Council of American Muslims, an American Indian Muslim advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., that group A. Vice story About the Kumbh Mela, a Hindu pilgrimage attended by hundreds of thousands of Indians earlier this month, which Turned In a super dealer event.

“While hundreds of thousands of Covid patients are literally gasping for breath, the government’s lightness to pressure Twitter to block tweets critical of its handling of the crisis shows that the administration’s moral compass continues to point to a self-serving, unashamedly compass.” The American Indian Islamic Council said in a statement.

BuzzFeed News reached out to Ghatak for comment.

Early this year, cases of coronavirus in India plummeted and most of the country has resumed normal life. At the beginning of March, the Indian Minister of Health He said The country was in the “final game” of the epidemic. But the country is now in labor The second wave It is triggered by a new type of virus, religious rallies and electoral rallies. India currently has the largest number of daily infections in the world, and its healthcare system has collapsed. Medical oxygen deficiency, ventilators are difficult to find, and vaccines are running out. According to data from John HopkinsIndia recorded 346,786 new cases on Friday and 2,624 deaths.

Despite the numbers, Modi has it She continued Holding rallies.

This is not the first time that Twitter has complied with orders from the Indian government to censor tweets. In February, the company Blocked More than 250 accounts in India have criticized the government’s handling of the protests of hundreds of thousands of farmers against the new agricultural laws. The company later hit a Note the challengeDespite the removal of the ban on accounts belonging to journalists, activists and politicians Prison threats From the Indian government.

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