You are here: Home » Technology » News
Business Standard

Facebook blocks #ResignModi posts, restores it calling it a mistake

The block was on for hours

Narendra Modi | Facebook | Social Media

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Photo: Reuters

blocked posts tagged #ResignModi amid raging criticism of the government's handling of the COVID crisis, but restored it hours later calling it a mistake.

The blocking on Wednesday, said, wasn't at the behest of the government.

isn't the first company to censure posts critical of government handling of the COVID-19 crisis. Twitter had removed or restricted access to several critical posts on orders from the government, which called it fake news.

"We temporarily blocked this hashtag by mistake, not because the Indian government asked us to, and have since restored it," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday.

It however did not elaborate.

According to reports, a hashtag calling for the resignation of Prime Minister was blocked on Facebook for hours on Wednesday. Users searching the hashtag were given a message that said such posts were "temporarily hidden here" because "some content in those posts goes against our Community Standards".

Facebook periodically blocks hashtags and posts for a variety of reasons. Some of the blocks are done manually and some are automated.

The blocking of posts tagged #ResignModi came ahead of polling in the last phase of West Bengal assembly elections.

The Modi government has drawn a lot of flak in domestic and international media for handling of the second wave of COVID infections, which on Thursday crossed 1.8-crore mark.

India reported 3,79,257 new COVID-19 cases and 3,645 new deaths - the deadliest day so far for any country hit by the pandemic.

The US government has told its citizens to leave India as soon as possible.

timelines are filled with SOS calls with people looking for oxygen cylinders, medicines, hospital beds, plasma donors and ventilators. Organisations across the spectrum have come forward to support the fight against the COVID pandemic.

Just a few days back, Twitter and other platforms removed about 100 posts and URLs after the government asked them to remove content that was critical of the handling of the current medical crisis or spreading fake news around the pandemic.

Reports citing Lumen database, an independent research project studying cease and desist letters concerning online content, suggested that more than 50 posts - including those by a Member of Parliament, MLA and filmmakers - were removed by Twitter on government request.

Government sources had said the social media platforms were asked to remove the posts and URLs (uniform resource locators) to "prevent obstructions in the fight against the pandemic" and disruption of public order due to the said posts.

They had added that the order was issued in view of the misuse of social media platforms by certain users to spread fake or misleading information and create panic about the pandemic in the society "by using unrelated, old and out of the context images or visuals, communally sensitive posts and misinformation about COVID-19 protocols".

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Thu, April 29 2021. 13:50 IST