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Twitter is blocking tweets criticizing the Indian government

Twitter is blocking tweets criticizing the Indian government

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads in India out of control, The country’s government is cracking down on social media. On Thursday, the Indian government ordered Twitter to block more than 50 tweets criticizing its response to the epidemic. Twitter has complied with regulations and prohibits residents of the country from viewing posts from the Minister of State, opposition members of the Indian Parliament, film producers, actors, two reporters and several ordinary people.

On Saturday, Twitter released details about the order. lumen The database, a project of Harvard University, is used to track government deletion notices around the world.The message is First report Provided by the Indian technology policy website Medianama.

“When we receive a valid legal request, we will review it in accordance with Twitter rules and local laws. If the content violates The rules of Twitter, The content will be removed from the service,” a Twitter spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. “If it is determined that it is illegal in a particular jurisdiction, but it does not violate Twitter rules, We might access denied Only Indian content. The company stated that it notified people who restricted its tweets in India in advance, telling them that the company was responding to orders from the Indian government.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of India did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment.

One of the restrictions tweets Belongs to the All India Trinamool National Congress Minister Moloy Ghatak from West Bengal, and Indian Nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently held there Large-scale election rally Even hundreds of thousands of Indians test positive for COVID-19 every day.

Gattak’s tweet criticized Modi’s mismanagement of the pandemic.

The government has also restricted dozens of tweets criticizing Modi or sharing photos of India. The crematorium and hospital are overcrowdedExcept for one tweet From the Indian-American Muslim Council, an Indian-American Muslim advocacy organization based in Washington, DC.The group shared a Side story Regarding the Big Pot Festival, this is a Hindu pilgrimage that was attended by hundreds of thousands of Indians earlier this month. Turn around Enter the super communicator event.

“Although hundreds of thousands of patients with COVID-19 are really out of breath, the government eagerly pressured Twitter to block tweets criticizing its handling of the crisis. This shows that the government’s moral compass continues to point in a shameless and selfish direction. ,” IAMC said in a statement.

BuzzFeed News has contacted Ghatak for comment.

Earlier this year, the number of coronavirus cases in India dropped sharply, and most parts of the country returned to normal life. In early March, the Minister of Health of India Say The country is in the “final battle” of the pandemic.But this country is in throes now Second wave It was triggered by a new variant of the virus, religious rallies, and election rallies. India is currently the country with the largest number of daily infections in the world, and its healthcare system has collapsed. Medical oxygen is in short supply, ventilators are hard to find, and vaccines are in short supply. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, India had 346,786 new cases and 2,624 deaths on Friday.

Despite these numbers, Modi still carry on Hold a large-scale election rally.

This is not the first time Twitter has followed the Indian government’s order to censor tweets. In February, the company Blocked More than 250 accounts in India have criticized the government’s handling of protests against the new agricultural laws by hundreds of thousands of farmers.The company subsequently cooperated with Provocative notes, Unlock accounts belonging to journalists, activists, and politicians, despite Prison threat From the Indian government.

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