Twitter Is Blocking Tweets Criticising Way Indian Government Has Handled Pandemic
Twitter is reportedly blocking tweets which criticise the way in which the Indian government has handled the coronavirus pandemic.
As first reported by Indian tech policy site Medianama, upon government request Twitter has now censored 52 tweets that mostly criticise how the second surge has been handled.
These tweets, which can no longer be seen by Twitter users in India, include tweets from MP Revanth Reddy, two filmmakers, Vinod Kapri and Avinash Das, and various others.
Medianama has reportedly seen public disclosures of the orders, which Twitter has made available to the Lumen Database, an online archive which ‘collects and analyses legal complaints and requests for removal of online materials’.
One of the restricted tweets was shared by All India Trinamool Congress party minister Moloy Ghatak, a politician based in the Indian state of West Bengal.
In her tweet, Ghatak criticised the actions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who organised enormous election rallies despite escalating daily cases of coronavirus.
India will never forgive PM @narendramodi for underplaying the corona situation in the country and letting so many people die due to mismanagement. At a time when India is going through a health crisis, PM chose to export millions of vaccine to other nations #ModiHataoDeshBachao
In a statement given to Buzzfeed News, a Twitter spokesperson said:
When we receive a valid legal request, we review it under both the Twitter Rules and local law. 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.
The spokesperson added that users had been notified that the tweets had been censored, and that COVID-19 misinformation would only be removed in cases where it ‘advances a harmful narrative, and is demonstrably false’.
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