At the request of the government, Twitter censors opposition publications

The horrific images of the second wave of Covid-19 affecting India are currently circulating in the world. In the midst of this great health crisis, many people criticize the management of the government under the leadership of Narendra Modi on social networks. The authorities asked Twitter to remove around fifty publications. The censored profiles are MPs, two filmmakers or an actor, The Verge specifies.

Twitter was contacted by our colleagues and wanted to explain its action. The platform states that it can prevent certain content from being displayed if it violates local laws. Account holders will be informed in advance that this lock is being initiated at the initiative of the government.

The social network adds:

If we receive a valid legal request, we will review it in accordance with Twitter rules and local law. If the content violates Twitter’s rules, the content will be removed from the service. If it turns out to be illegal in a particular jurisdiction but not against Twitter rules, the only way we can deny access to content is in India.

Social media censorship: a reflex in too many countries

Indian law limits the publication of content that is considered defamatory or violent. However, some of the deleted publications were mere criticism of the Prime Minister, who was accused of trying to downplay the importance of the pandemic.

Last February, the report by the Indian magazine The Caravan, by the writer Hansraj Meena and others who supported the mobilization of peasants, was also blocked in India. This decision would again be due to a request from the Department of Electronics, the content of which was deemed defamatory in relation to Narendra Modi.

In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards internet blocking and social media censorship around the world. The VPN service provider SurfShark recently conducted an interesting study on the subject. It shows that 62 out of 185 countries have implemented restriction strategies on major platforms in the past five years. Asia is particularly affected by this phenomenon. 27 out of 48 states are affected.

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