COVID-19 related tweets are getting censored in India, here’s why

• Medianama, tech news site reported on April 24th that 52 tweets that criticized the government’s handling of the COVID-19 surge have been blocked by Twitter on government’s orders.

• The Indian government confirmed on April 25th that it ordered Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to block close to 100 posts about COVID-19 calling them “misinformation”, “inflammatory” or aimed to “create panic”.

• Visuals of cremation grounds were among the posts that were termed as “inflammatory” by the government.

• The ongoing emergency blocking orders of the Indian government are built upon Section 69(A) of India’s Information Technology Act which allows the government to block public access to information available online.

• A statement was issued by Twitter in response to the censorship reports. It stated, “When we receive a valid legal request, we review it under both the Twitter Rules and local law. If the content violates Twitter’s Rules, the content will be removed from the services. 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.”

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