Ordered only ‘fake Covid posts blocked not critical ones IT
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NEW DELHI: The authorities has requested prime social media platforms reminiscent of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to take down over 100 posts or URLs, which it accused of spreading “fake or misleading information” to “create panic about the Covid19 situation” within the nation.
The posts have since been eliminated and the motion – probably the most for content material on Twitter — comes amid on-line criticism over the dealing with of the second wave of infections. However, IT ministry sources maintained that it had sought motion solely towards posts or URLs, which had been adjudged to be hindering the battle towards the virus.
The IT ministry motion got here within the wake of a suggestion by the home ministry, which took notice of “misuse of social media platforms by certain users”. In current days, social media platforms have additionally emerged as a supply for mobilising assist in addition to producing chatter across the contemporary and lethal wave of coronavirus infections.
“This decision has been taken to prevent obstructions in the fight against the pandemic and escalation of public order due to these posts,” an official mentioned.
Sources mentioned the intention by means of the motion was “not to block any criticism about Covid handling, but to block inflammatory content that used morphed or doctored images and statements” to assault the federal government and created disturbance within the society.
“The ministry flagged blatant cases of forgery where old photographs of cremations were used, or photographs of cremations in a particular city were being passed off as the scene in some other city. Twitter and other platforms acted after verifying the genuineness of the complaints,” a supply mentioned.
Those whose posts have been ordered to be taken down additionally got here from sure verified accounts reminiscent of that of Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera (who made a reference to motion on Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi final 12 months and holding of Kumbh this 12 months and political rallies), Congress MP Revanth Reddy (criticised corona deaths over shortages with an image of a crematorium), and West Bengal minister Moly Ghatak (who blamed the federal government for mismanagement of disaster and put photos of crematorium and political rallies). Khera has despatched a authorized discover towards his tweet being taken down.
Posts from Avinash Das and Vinod Kapri (filmmakers) and Dr Kafeel Khan had been additionally blocked for utilizing “old and unrelated visuals of patients and dead bodies and trying to show them as related to the Covid crisis to create panic in society”.
The official sources claimed that by means of the posts, “certain people are misusing social media to create panic” in society. “The government welcomes criticism, genuine requests for help as well as suggestions in the collective fight against Covid-19, but it is necessary to take action against those users who are misusing social media during this grave humanitarian crisis for unethical purposes,” one of many sources mentioned.
Facebook and Instagram didn’t touch upon the matter. A spokesperson for Twitter mentioned, “When we receive a valid legal request, we review it under both the ‘Twitter Rules’ and local law. If the content violates Twitter’s Rules, the content will be removed from the service. If it is determined to be illegal in a particular jurisdiction, but not in violation of the Twitter rules, we may withhold access to the content in India only.”
Twitter mentioned it does notify account holders instantly so that they’re conscious that it’s taking the motion attributable to a authorized order. “We notify the user(s) by sending a message to the email address associated with the account(s), if available.”

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