Facebook is using #ResignModi to hide posts

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Narendra Modi) raised his hands during the public assembly of West Bengal parliamentary elections in Barasat on April 12, 2021.

Facebook temporarily concealed a post calling for the resignation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Narendra Modi), which marked the platform’s latest foray into the Indian market. A series of controversial decisions Affect the freedom of speech in a country experiencing a full-scale COVID-19 crisis.

On Wednesday, the world’s largest social network stated that posts with hashtags or #ResignModi text are “temporarily hidden here” because “some of these posts violate our community standards.” Since the posts are hidden, it is not clear what content violates the company’s rules, and the company’s executives often express their commitment to public expression.

After hiding the hashed posts for about three hours, Facebook changed its decision and allowed users to find and access the posts if they criticized Modi after publishing this story.

Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone told BuzzFeed News: “We temporarily blocked the tag by mistake. This is not because the Indian government asked us to do so and has restored the tag.”

last week, The Indian government ordered Twitter Block access to more than 50 tweets criticizing Modi’s handling of emails Pandemic.This Wall Street Journal It is also reported that Facebook and Instagram have blocked posts about Modi in accordance with government orders.

According to searches conducted on BuzzFeed News, people who shared screenshots on Twitter and in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom said the tag was hidden inside India.

February, India Make new regulations Social media and online video have enabled the government to require platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to remove content that the government considers objectionable.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of India has not yet responded to a request for comment.

This seems to be the first time Facebook has blocked or concealed a call for democratically elected world leaders to resign, and runs counter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s desire to retain content as much as possible. The ban seemed to run counter to the principles of a platform that was praised for its role in continuing the Arab Spring, which triggered a wave of democratic uprisings that overthrew the Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak (Hosni Mubarak). ) And the dictatorships of several other countries in the region.

Although there are signs that normal life will resume at the beginning of this year, India is currently under control of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak, which has been accompanied by increasing criticism of its leaders.

“The Indian nationalist government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has undertaken the difficult task of responding to a pandemic in a poor country like India, so it is impossible.” Wrote the Indian magazine “Caravan” on Tuesday.

This is what happened when searching for hashtag #ResignModi on Facebook (at least in India).


Earlier this year, cases in India plummeted, and most parts of the country returned to normal life.but From March, The case surged. According to reports, more than 360,000 people were infected and 3,293 people died yesterday. Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. This crisis brought the country’s medical system to the brink of collapse, People killed in car tried to enter Delhi hospital. General election rally with Religious gathering The Modi government scrambled to spread the virus.

On Sunday, President Biden announced The U.S. will urgently need supplies Export to the country, and lift the export restrictions on the raw materials required for the production of vaccines.

Facebook’s relationship with the Modi government and its Bharatiya Janata party since Wall Street Journal It was revealed in August that the company’s senior policy employees in India protected a prominent BJP member and at least three other Hindu nationalists from being punished for violating Facebook’s hate speech rules.Employee Ankhi Das was the policy director for Facebook India, South Asia and Central Asia, and later apologize with resignation After sharing a Facebook post saying that Muslims in India are a “degenerate community”, “except for the purity of religious beliefs and the implementation of Sharia law, there is nothing else.”

“In a highly politicized environment and ongoing emergencies, it is worrying that Facebook has not been more transparent about this and has not commented on it,” said evelyn douek, a lecturer at Harvard Law School. “This seems to be the core political speech at a very critical moment.”

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