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Twitter removes over 50 posts on govt. orders; majority related to COVID-19.

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Highlights:

  • Twitter removes over 50 posts on govt. orders; majority related to COVID-19.
  • Many of the removed tweets had content related to the shortage of medicine, beds, mass cremations.
  • Such orders are typically sent by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MEITY).

The government passed an emergency order asking Twitter to sensor 52 tweets in the country pertaining to the pandemic. Complying with the order, the microblogging platform has withheld the listed tweets from its users in India.

Some of the verified accounts for which the tweets have been removed include- Congress Spokesperson Pawan Khera, Member of Parliament Revanth Reddy, a minister from West Bengal Moloy Ghatak, ABP News editor Pankaj Jha, Actor Vineet Kumar Singh, filmmaker Avinash Das, and filmmaker and former journalist Vinod Kapri.

Twitter removes over 50 posts:

A portion of the tweets appears to use a wide range of hashtags that call for the resignation of the prime minister or imply that the second wave is a ‘ModiMadeDisaster’. Others take aim at the recent Kumbh Mela and compare it to the manner in which the Tablighi Jamaat controversy was viewed by supporters of the ruling party last year.

Filmmaker and former journalist Vinod Kapri confirmed that he had received a notice from Twitter that his post was restricted in India. Twitter user Gagandeep Kaur also confirmed receiving such a notice. Another user publicly acknowledged a similar notice in a separate tweet.

A Twitter spokesperson said in a statement to the publication:

“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.”

The collection of tweets – which have been removed from public view in India, but can still be viewed by users in other countries – includes posts that sharply criticize the Modi government.

Earlier in February, the Centre had asked Twitter to remove nearly 1,200 accounts that had posted content related to ‘farmer genocide’ amid the ongoing protests by farmers against the new farm laws.

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