Twitter has censored tweets criticizing the country’s conditions to combat the coronavirus epidemic, at the request of the Indian government. Twitter said that the necessary information was given to the censored accounts.
Twitter removed more than 50 tweets criticizing the Indian government’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak. Among those who posted the tweets that were removed at the request of the government, there were also people with high profiles in the country.
Celebrities are among the censored Twitter accounts
The government sent an emergency order to Twitter to censor 52 tweets, according to a report by the Indian news site MediaNama. Upon the order, Twitter censored the aforementioned tweets and accounts. Censored accounts include a member of the Indian Parliament, two filmmakers, an actor, and West Bengal State Secretary.
Speaking to TheVerge on the matter, a Twitter spokesperson said that if the tweets violated local laws, the company could not be viewed by people in India. In addition, he stated that the action was taken as a result of a legal request from the Indian government. He underlined that the accounts to be censored are also informed about the issue.
This is not the first time Twitter has submitted to the Indian government. During the protests that took place in the country in February, the company permanently blocked more than 500 accounts at the request of the government. Also, the Indian government issued a non-compliance statement for the company. According to the New York Times, if Twitter had rejected this statement, all employees in the country would have been sentenced to prison.
Laws in India restrict the publication of material that the government deems libelous or claims to incite violence. As a result of these laws, the tweet and many such statements by West Bengal State Minister Moloy Ghatak accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he did not take the coronavirus epidemic seriously were removed from the platform.
India, which completely vaccinates 1.5 percent of the country’s population, is one of the countries that suffer the most in the epidemic. While it was reported that 346 thousand 786 people were infected with the virus the other day, the number of deaths reached 2 thousand 624.