India asks social media firms to remove reference to Indian
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NEW DELHI: India’s data expertise (IT) ministry has written to all social media firms asking them to take down any content material that refers to an “Indian variant” of the coronavirus, in keeping with a letter issued on Friday which was seen by Reuters.
The World Health Organization stated on May 11 that the coronavirus variant B.1.617, first recognized in India final 12 months, was being labeled as a variant of worldwide concern.
The Indian authorities a day later issued a press release saying media stories utilizing the time period “Indian Variant” had been with none foundation, saying the WHO had labeled the variant as simply B.1.617.
In a letter to social media firms on Friday, the IT ministry requested the businesses to “remove all the content” that names or implies “Indian variant” of the coronavirus.
“This is totally FALSE. There is not any such variant of Covid-19 scientifically cited as such by the World Health Organisation (WHO). WHO has not related the time period ‘Indian Variant’ with the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus in any of its stories,” said the letter, which isn’t public.
A senior Indian authorities supply instructed Reuters the discover was issued to ship a message “loud and clear” that such mentions of “Indian variant” unfold miscommunication and damage the nation’s picture.
The IT ministry couldn’t be reached for remark.
Around the world, coronavirus variants have generically been referred to by docs and well being specialists on the idea of the place the are recognized. This consists of South Africa and Brazil variants.
A social media govt stated it could be tough to take down all content material utilizing the phrase as there can be a whole bunch of hundreds of such posts, including that “such a move would lead to keyword based censorship going forward.”
The Indian authorities is going through elevated criticism over its dealing with of the coronavirus pandemic, with Prime Minister Modi and state authorities being blamed for not adequately planning for the continued second wave of coronavirus infections.
India has the second-highest tally of Covid-19 instances on this planet and has been reporting round 250,000 infections and four,000 deaths day by day.


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