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World

Twitter censors tweets from politicians, public that criticized Modi govt's handling of Covid crisis

  • Twitter has been ordered by the Indian government to censor 52 tweets that criticized India’s handling of the second surge of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • This includes tweets by Revanth Reddy, a sitting Member of Parliament; Moloy Ghatak, a West Bengal state minister; actor Vineet Kumar Singh; and two filmmakers, Vinod Kapri and Avinash Das.
Updated 24 Apr 2021

There was a lot of criticism aimed at the Modi-led Indian government over the current surge in COVID-19 cases due to government negligence.

Now reports emerged that the micro-blogging site, Twitter, will restrict some 52 tweets critical of the government at the behest of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) central government.

Medianama reports that they’ve seen orders that Twitter will censor 52 tweets that criticized India’s handling of the second surge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This includes tweets by Revanth Reddy, a sitting Member of Parliament; Moloy Ghatak, a West Bengal state minister; actor Vineet Kumar Singh; and two filmmakers, Vinod Kapri and Avinash Das.

Such requests are pushed by the Indian Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MEITY).

Indian filmmaker Vinod Kapri confirmed to MediaNama that he had received a notice from Twitter notifying him his tweet was restricted in India.

South Asian Affairs expert, Pieter Friedrich also tweeted a similar notice.

Meanwhile, Twitter asserts they only remove COVID-19 misinformation if it advances a harmful narrative, and is demonstrably false. When requested to remove content Twitter evaluates the issue based on its own rules and policy.

If the content is determined illegal in a particular jurisdiction, but not in violation of the Twitter Rules, it may withhold access to the content in India only.

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