• Home
  • Apps
  • Apps News
  • #ResignModi: Facebook Blocks Posts ‘by Mistake’ for Hours as India’s COVID 19 Crisis Grows

#ResignModi: Facebook Blocks Posts ‘by Mistake’ for Hours as India’s COVID-19 Crisis Grows

Facebook’s hours-long block follows public outrage and official efforts to curb content critical of the way the government has handled the pandemic.

#ResignModi: Facebook Blocks Posts ‘by Mistake’ for Hours as India’s COVID-19 Crisis Grows

A fresh wave of coronavirus has roiled India lately, leaving hospital beds and oxygen in short supply

Highlights
  • Crematoriums in the India are overrun
  • Many have taken to social media to seek help for their predicament
  • The Facebook block wiped posts calling on PM Narendra Modi to resign

Facebook blocked posts tagged #ResignModi before restoring them hours later, stoking a controversy that's erupted over government requests to remove social media content as India grapples with an escalating COVID crisis.

Facebook said it barred the hashtag by mistake and not at the behest of the government, without elaborating. Facebook periodically blocks hashtags for a variety of reasons, some manually but many also based on automated internal guidelines. The error stemmed from content associated with the label and not the hashtag itself, the spokesperson added.

The hours-long block, which came ahead of the final phase of lawmaker elections in a key state and effectively wiped posts calling on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resign, follows public outrage and official efforts to curb content critical of the way his government has handled the pandemic. This year, the country established new rules that require the likes of Facebook and Twitter to take down unlawful content quicker, triggering a debate over freedom of speech in the world's largest democracy.

“We temporarily blocked this hashtag by mistake, not because the Indian government asked us to, and have since restored it,” a Facebook company spokesperson said.

A fresh wave of the coronavirus has roiled India in recent weeks, leaving hospital beds, medicines, and oxygen in short supply. Crematoriums are overrun, and India has reported several days of more than 300,000 new daily infections. Many have taken to social media to seek help for their predicament, inundating services like WhatsApp and Instagram with pleas for everything from hospital beds to medicines, CT scans, doorstep COVID tests, and even food for the elderly in quarantine.

It's also stirred public anger over the handling of the crisis. India's government in response has ordered US social-media companies to block posts, saying COVID-related misinformation risked spurring a panic and disrupting efforts to bring the pandemic under control.

Twitter has removed or restricted access to COVID-related posts over the past month. Earlier this year, the social media giant had to permanently suspend more than 500 accounts and block access to hundreds of others in India, acceding to a government order to restrain the spread of misinformation and inflammatory content related to farmers' protests. The company has said it reviews all valid legal requests it receives under the company's guidelines and local rules.

- With assistance from Kurt Wagner and Mark Bergen.

© 2021 Bloomberg LP


We dive into all things Apple — iPad Pro, iMac, Apple TV 4K, and AirTag — this week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.
Comments

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Apple Rides 5G iPhone Demand to Soar Past Sales, Profit Targets; Warns of Chip Shortages

Related Stories

Read in: हिंदी
Share on Facebook Tweet Snapchat Share Reddit Comment
 
 

Advertisement

Advertisement

© Copyright Red Pixels Ventures Limited 2021. All rights reserved.
Listen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com