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Ordered only “fake” Covid posts to be blocked, not criticism: Ministry of IT | India News

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NEW DELHI: The government has asked major social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to remove more than 100 posts or URLs, which it accused of spreading “false or misleading information” to “create panic about the situation. of Covid19 “in the country.
The posts have since been removed and the action – most of the content on Twitter – comes amid online criticism about handling the second wave of infections. However, sources from the IT Ministry maintained that it had sought action only against posts or URLs, which were seen as hampering the fight against the virus.
The action by the IT Ministry followed a recommendation from the Ministry of the Interior, which took note of the “misuse of social media platforms by certain users.” In recent days, social media platforms have also emerged as a source for mobilizing help, as well as generating talks about the deadly new wave of coronavirus infections.
“This decision has been made to avoid obstructions in the fight against the pandemic and the escalation of public order due to these positions,” said an official.
The sources said that the intention through the action was “not to block any criticism about the handling of Covid, but to block inflammatory content that used transformed or manipulated images and statements” to attack the government and create unrest in society.
“The ministry pointed to blatant forgery cases in which old cremation photographs or photographs of cremations in a particular city were used to pose as the scene in another city. Twitter and other platforms acted after verifying the authenticity of the complaints, “said a source.
Those whose seats have been ordained for retirement also come from certain verified accounts such as that of Congress spokesman Pawan Khera (who made a reference to the action at Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi last year and the celebration of Kumbh this year and political rallies) . MP Revanth Reddy (criticized crown deaths from shortages with a picture of a crematorium) and West Bengal Minister Moly Ghatak (who blamed the government for mismanagement of the crisis and posted pictures of the crematorium and political demonstrations ). Khera has issued a legal notice against deleting her tweet.
The posts of Avinash Das and Vinod Kapri (filmmakers) and Dr. Kafeel Khan were also blocked for using “old and unrelated images of patients and dead bodies and trying to show them as related to the Covid crisis to create panic in society” .
Official sources affirmed that through the publications, “certain people are misusing social networks to create panic” in society. “The government appreciates the criticism, the genuine requests for help and the suggestions in the collective fight against Covid-19, but it is necessary to take measures against those users who are misusing social networks during this serious humanitarian crisis for little ethical ”, one of the sources said.
Facebook and Instagram did not comment on the matter. A Twitter spokesperson said: “When we receive a valid legal request, we review it according to the ‘Twitter Rules’ and local law. If the content violates Twitter rules, the content will be removed from the service. If it is found to be illegal in a particular jurisdiction, but does not violate Twitter’s rules, we may deny access to content in India only. ”
Twitter said it is notifying account holders directly so they know it is taking action due to a legal 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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