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Viral tweet asks police to shoot Indian protesters

Viral tweet asks police to shoot Indian protesters

Call for “shooting” farmers to protest Controversial agricultural reform In India, the trend on Twitter on Tuesday lasted for several hours, flooding the platform with thousands of tweets encouraging police to abuse them.

violence Erupted In the Indian capital on Tuesday, thousands of farmers set up camp on the outskirts of New Delhi for nearly two months to protest the government’s agricultural reforms. They said it would damage their livelihoods. They entered the city and clashed with the police. The demonstrators broke through police roadblocks around the city and rushed into the historic Red Fort, a national monument. The police used heavy batons and fired tear gas.The authorities also shut down internet access in parts of the capital. This is an Indian official Do often To quell the protest. At least one protester died.

On Twitter, supporters of the Indian Hindu nationalist government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the protesting farmers “terrorists” and encouraged the police to abuse them. “They are not farmers. They are worms, wearing the masks of farmers,” one of the viral tweets with the hashtag “#shoot” reads. “Requesting @AmitShah #shoot atsight is the only option,” another tweet said, marking the Indian Minister of the Interior and Modi’s right-hand man in charge of law and order in the country.

“Hit them with your baton, Delhi police,” the editor of the pro-government propaganda blog Tweet Hindi. “We are with you.”

On Tuesday morning, “shooting” was one of the hottest topics on the Indian platform, along with the Hindi phrase “Dilli Police lath bajao”-roughly translated as “Dilli Police lath bajao”.

“Shooting” stayed in the “Trends” section of Indian Twitter for at least a few hours. It only disappeared after public outcry and BuzzFeed News asked for comments via email. The company also deleted the blog editor’s tweets, saying it violated the Twitter rules and suspended her account for 12 hours. Nevertheless, Hindi phrases that encourage police to use batons are still a hot topic for at least an hour. Searching for “#shoot” found hundreds of tweets asking the police to shoot at the protesters.

“We have taken steps today to protect the dialogue on our service from attempts Incite violence and abuse with Threat This may cause the following risks Offline damage,” a Twitter spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. “Our team will take Strong law enforcement Take wise and fair actions on content, trends, tweets and accounts that violate regulations Twitter rules. We strongly encourage everyone in the service to be familiar with the Twitter rules and report Anything they think is illegal. We are closely monitoring the situation and remain vigilant. “

A day later, Twitter issued a new statement stating that it suspended more than 300 accounts involved in spam and platform manipulation. The company said: “We are closely monitoring the situation and remain vigilant, and strongly encourage service personnel to report anything they believe violates the rules.”

In the United States, multiple technology platforms Including Twitter After his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol earlier this month, former President Donald Trump was permanently barred from accessing the platform. Trump has been banned from using the platform “because of the risk of further violence”, Tweet Vijaya Gadde, head of law, policy, trust and security at Twitter.Last year, the company proposed a Warning label In a post by the former president about the Minneapolis protests: “[When] The robbery began, and the shooting began. “

But experts believe that Silicon Valley companies like Twitter and Facebook own Double standard When implementing your own policies on a global scale.In non-Western countries like India, in the past few years under the leadership of the Modi government, the technology platform has often been slow or Take no action Those who oppose using them as weapons to cause real-world harm.

For example, last year Twitter made dozens of tweets Hit someone Before BuzzFeed News asked the company about their situation, Hindu-Muslim couples of different faiths remained on the platform.In December last year, protesters gathered outside Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California, claiming that the social network was Review content Posting of Indian farmers who supported the protest.Wall Street Journal Report Ankhi Das, an Indian Facebook executive, had prevented the company from taking action against politicians belonging to Modi’s party because he posted hate speech, saying that doing so would harm the company’s commercial interests.

“Powerful interest groups everywhere know that Silicon Valley tools can be used to create a human rights bonfire, but the only time the platform cares about them is that they are affected by negative news,” said Alaphia Zoyab, Reset’s advocacy director, to solve the information crisis caused by technology platforms. Tell BuzzFeed News.

“When Silicon Valley has to choose between protecting business interests or protecting human rights, they will choose the former,” she added. “In fact, their current business model is fundamentally incompatible with democracy and freedom, because the firm troll army in the camp of those in power can hijack the platform and demand violence.”

Gad did not respond to a request for comment, and Twitter declined to answer whether India’s accounts that encourage violence will be permanently banned.

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