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Helo barred anti-chinese content, company says no restriction now

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
Social media firm Helo had last year directed its content moderating team in India to remove political and non-political content that are against Chinese government from its platform, according to sources.
The company, however, said that it follows community guidelines which does not restrict any content that is critical of foreign governments, including China.
According to sources, an internal email sent by a Chinese employee to content moderating team said "recommend all their political related content, except those content which is against the Chinese government, Dalai Lama, Tibet. We need to drop those content which are against Chinese government".
The instructions were issued in February 2019 covered any content generated by organisations, celebrity, official account and self-build accounts on the Helo platform.
The Helo platform was launched by Bytedance in June 2018 in India and in December 2019 it came out with revised community guidelines focussed on checking fake news.
The instructions also directed the content team in India to also drop non-political content being posted from star and official accounts having high visibility on the platform.
When contacted, Helo spokesperson said "Our externally posted Community Guidelines in 14 local languages, which we update from time to time, explicitly state what is and is not allowed on the platform. They are designed to ensure freedom of speech and do not restrict any content that is critical of foreign governments, including China".
The community guidelines of Helo bars hate speech, insults of national honour and promotion of sedition, promotion of animosity against Indian or any other state through call for violence etc.
"These policies are being developed and optimized by the Indian team and continue to evolve over time. Currently, there are over 1,000 people working on content policy and moderation based out of India," the spokesperson said.

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First Published: Apr 26 2020 | 7:40 PM IST

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