Facebook temporarily hid posts demanding the resignation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, noting the latest experience of the platform a series of controversial decisions affecting free speech, which is experiencing a COVID-19 crisis across the country.
On Wednesday, the world’s largest social network reported that posts with the hashtag or text #ResignModi were “temporarily hidden here” because “some of the content of those messages violates our Community standards.” Because the records were hidden, it is unclear what content violated the rules of a company whose executives often expressed an obligation to speak out.
Hiding the hashtag for almost three hours, Facebook overturned its decision to allow users to find and access messages criticizing Modi shortly after the story was published.
“We temporarily blocked this hashtag by mistake, not because the Indian government asked us to, but then we restored it,” Facebook spokesman Andy Stone told BuzzFeed News.
Last week, The Indian government has ordered Twitter blocked the entry of more than 50 tweets criticizing Modi’s behavior pandemic, Ի: Wall Street Journal: He reported that Facebook և Instagram had blocked messages about Modi at the request of the government.
The hashtag was hidden inside India, according to people who shared screenshots on Twitter, such as in the United States, Canada and England, based on searches by BuzzFeed News.
In February, India adopted new regulations on social media և online videos that allow the government to demand platforms such as Facebook և Twitter to take content that the government considers absurd.
A spokesman for India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has not yet responded to a request for comment.
This seems to be the first time that Facebook has blocked or concealed calls for the resignation of a democratically elected world leader և against CEO Mark Uck Zuckerberg’s preference to leave content as much as possible. The ban runs counter to the platform, which was once cited for its role in perpetuating the Arab Spring, which led to a wave of democratic uprisings that toppled Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak and the autocratic rulers of several other countries in the region.
Despite signs that normal life will return earlier this year, India is currently in the throes of the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world, sparked by growing criticism of its leader.
“The Hindu-nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken on the difficult task of organizing an epidemic response in a poor country like India, making it impossible.” wrote Caravan magazine working in India on Tuesday,
Earlier this year, events in India plummeted, and most of the country resumed normal life. But: since March, the cases have increased. More than 360,000 people were reported infected yesterday and և 3,293 died Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, The inflation has brought the country’s healthcare system to the brink people dying in their cars trying to enter Delhi hospitals, Pre-election rallies և: religious gatherings The virus has spread as the Modi government tries to respond.
President Biden announced on Sunday The United States was in a hurry to deliver country, how to remove restrictions on the export of raw materials needed to make vaccines.
Facebook links to the Modi government and its Bharatiya Janata party have been under control since Wall Street Journal: In August, he revealed that the company’s chief policy officer in India was defending a prominent BJP member from punishing at least three other Hindu nationalists for violating Facebook’s hate speech. Employee: Ankhi Das, India և South Asia քաղաքական Facebook’s Facebook Policy Director, later apologized և: resigned Following the release of a Facebook post calling India’s Muslims a “perverted community” for which “in addition to the purity of religion, the practice of Sharia law.”
“In the context of a highly politicized environment and ongoing emergencies, it is very worrying that Facebook is not more transparent on this issue,” said Evelyn Duak, a professor at Harvard Law School. “This seems to be the main political speech at a very important moment.”