Modi govt asks Twitter to block tweets critical of its Covid handling, Twitter takes down 52 tweets

India is in the grip of the second wave of Coronavirus. In such a situation, hospitals across the country are burdened with the burden of infected people. People are becoming each other’s support. Social media has also emerged as a source of help. People are sharing each other’s help and information on twitter. Meanwhile, the Modi government at the Center has taken action against some Twitter accounts. The government says that they are spreading fake news about the corona epidemic.

Leader-actor’s tweet blocked by Twitter

According to India Today news, Twitter has banned tweets made from the handle of some people between March 22 and 24 in India. It includes politicians and actors. Those whose tweets have been banned include MP Revanth Reddy, Minister Moloy Ghatak in West Bengal government, actor Vineet Kumar Singh, filmmaker Vinod Kapri and Avinash Das. These tweets have been blocked after a notice sent by the government to Twitter, stating that these tweets violate the IT laws of the Government of India.

Also read: Twitter withholds multiple accounts of Journalists, activists including The Caravan, actor Sushant Singh

What was in these tweets?
Most of the tweets that have been banned were told about the government’s inadequate measures regarding the Covid crisis and the misery of common people. Let us know that in the last few weeks, the corona cases have increased rapidly in the country and people are facing a lot of problems regarding oxygen, medicines and hospital beds. For example, the tweet made by actor Vineet Kumar on April 16 is not visible in India. A Twitter notice is appearing instead, in which it is written that this tweet has been blocked on the complaint of the Government of India.

Actor Vineet Kumar Singh’s April 16 tweet has been blocked. In this, there was mention of the government not getting medicines and other problems.
What does Twitter say?

Screenshot of the tweet taken down by Twitter


Twitter has not given any statement on this step. It has also not told which tweets have been deleted and why they have been deleted. However, the users whose tweets have been deleted, have been sent a notice from a Twitter which says that their tweet violates Indian law. Twitter has cited the IT Act 2000 to remove tweets.

Twitter has a policy on getting a legal request to remove some kind of content. This policy is something like this.

When we receive a valid legal request, it is investigated under Twitter rules and local laws. In such a situation, if any content on the social platform is against the rules of Twitter, then it is immediately removed. If it is against the local law, then it is removed from a particular place. After every kind of action, such a handle is also informed, so that they do not share such content further. For this, an email is sent to the Twitter user giving information about the legal order against him. The full report of such request is recorded in Twitter’s Transparency Report twice a year. Apart from this, the report of stopping the content is also published in the lumen.

What does the government say?
The Government of India has also not given any public statement on this matter. But after following the instructions of the government, Twitter has put all the information about the action on the website named Lumendatabase.org. This website is used by tech companies to keep a record of the action taken at the behest of the government.

According to the documents on this website, the Government of India asked Twitter to remove several tweets between April 22 and April 23. Most of these tweets were about the troubles of Covid patients and lack of medicines. Some of it was about the Kumbh Mela and the increase in corona patients due to it. These tweets may not be visible in India but they can be seen from outside India.

Let us tell you that this is not the first time that the government has blocked the tweets of some users. Even after the thrust of the farmer movement, the government had many Twitter handles blocked and many tweets were also removed.

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