As cases of Covid-19 reached a new world high, the Indian government asked Twitter to remove hundreds of tweets critical of India’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, including those by local lawmakers. Following the Indian government’s legal appeal, Twitter has withheld several of the tweets, according to a company spokeswoman.
21 tweets were listed in the government’s legal submission, which was made public on Lumen on April 23. Tweets from a lawmaker named Revnath Reddy, a West Bengal minister named Moloy Ghatak, and a filmmaker named Avinash Das were among them.
“When we receive a valid legal request, we review it under both the Twitter Rules and local law,” the Twitter spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.
“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,” she said.
Twitter had approached account holders directly to notify them of the withholding of their content and that it had secured a court order relating to their tweets, according to the spokeswoman.
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Tech news website TechCrunch had previously reported on the rising, reporting that the order had affected more than just Twitter.
India is in the grip of a raging second wave of the pandemic, with one Covid-19 death every just under four minutes in Delhi, despite the capital’s underfunded health system.
On Saturday, India’s overburdened hospitals pleaded for oxygen supplies as coronavirus infections soared, setting a new world record for cases for the third day in a row, according to the Delhi high court.
The number of cases in the 1.3 billion-strong nation increased by 346,786, bringing the total number of cases to 16.6 million, according to the health ministry. According to Saturday’s estimates, Covid-19 deaths increased by 2,624, bringing the number to 189,544.
According to health experts, India became complacent in the winter, when new cases were running at about 10,000 a day and seemed to be under control. Authorities have eased restrictions, allowing large-scale activities such as festivals and political rallies to restart in preparation for local elections.
Image Source: BBC