Twiiter and Facebook were instructed to delete nearly 100 posted and links from different users on their social media platforms by the Union Government of India. The deleted posts were mainly related to the user’s criticism of the handling of the current medical crisis crippling the country’s efforts to battle the deadly second wave of Covid-19 in India. India broke records continuously as they became the nation to report the highest number of positive cases identified in a single day. On Monday 26th April, India reported a global high of 3.5 lakh Covid-19 cases identified over the last 24 hours.
The Union Government ordered the social media platforms of Twitter and Facebook to delete or remove content which was critical about the handling of the government’s the ongoing medical emergency in India, spreading fake news around the pandemic or misleading people to believe untrue facts. The social media networks have reported to have taken down these posts following a legal request from the Government of India.
Twitter confirmed that it has deleted the posts following the legal request from the government and it has also notified the accounts that were impacted from these actions. Facebook remained silent during this period but it is reported that many posts were removed by Facebook as per the legal request. Government sources from the IT ministry took the action on advice from the Ministry of Home Affairs and asked to remove these posts on the grounds of “prevent obstructions in the fight against the pandemic and disruption of public order due to the posts & misinformation.”
The government sources that spoke out on this issue said the order was put out after witnessing the misuse of social media platforms by certain accounts/users to spread fake reports or misleading facts that could create a state of panic amongst the public by using old, unrelated & out of context images, videos or articles in a communally sensitive method to create fear and panic.