The Indian government has asked Twitter to remove several tweets that criticized the handling of the coronavirus outbreak, according to a statement released on Sunday.
The Department of Electronics and Information Technology said it had taken action “in the face of the abuse of social media platforms by certain users to spread falsified or misleading information and by not creating panic about the Covid-19 situation in India Related, old and old images or images out of context, community sensitive posts and misinformation about Covid-19 protocols are used. “
The government statement asked Twitter to remove around 100 posts or URLs, as recommended by the Home Office:
“It is important to mention that at a time when the whole country is making bold and honest efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, certain people are abusing social media to create panic in society.”
“The government welcomes criticism, genuine requests for help and suggestions in the collective fight against Covid-19, but it is necessary to take action against those users who misuse social media for unethical reasons during this serious humanitarian crisis,” the government said.
The move comes as India’s Prime Minister grows angry as Covid-19 cases and deaths continue to rise and a massive public health crisis emerges across the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the nation for the first time last week on the situation after holding political rallies and largely downplaying the urgency of the second wave in the previous weeks.
India reported 352,991 new cases and 2,812 virus-related deaths on Monday. This is the world’s highest daily number of cases for the fifth day in a row.
A Twitter spokesperson told CNN in a statement Monday that it had withheld some of these tweets in response to a legal request from the Indian government.
“If we get a valid legal request, we will review it against both Twitter rules and local laws,” the spokesman said, adding:
“If the content violates Twitter rules, the content will be removed from the service. If it is determined to be illegal in a particular jurisdiction but does not violate Twitter rules, we will only be able to access the content in Refuse India. ”
“In all cases, we will notify the account holder directly so that they know that we have received legal order in relation to the account,” added the Twitter statement.
The content retention requests are published in the Lumen database, a Harvard University project.