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On April 12, 2022, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised his arms at a public assembly for West Bengal parliamentary elections in Barasat.

Facebook temporarily concealed a post requesting the resignation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, marking the platform’s A series of controversial decisions Affect the freedom of speech in a country experiencing a full-blown COVID-19 crisis.

On Wednesday, the world’s largest social network stated that posts with the hashtag #ResignModi or text are “temporarily hidden here” because “some of the content in these posts violates our community standards.” Because these posts are Hidden, so it’s not clear what content violates a company’s rules, and the company’s executives often promise to express it publicly.

After hiding the hashed posts for about three hours, Facebook changed its decision and allowed users to find and access posts criticizing Modi, just after the story was published.

Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone told BuzzFeed News: “We temporarily blocked this tag by mistake, not because the Indian government asked us to do this and later restored it.”

last week, The Indian government ordered Twitter Block access to more than 50 tweets criticizing Modi’s handling of the problem Pandemic. This Wall Street Journal It is also reported that Facebook and Instagram have blocked posts about Modi in accordance with government orders.

According to the person who shared the screenshot on Twitter, this tag is hidden in India and in the U.S., Canada, and U.K. based on searches conducted by BuzzFeed News.

February, India New regulations have been issued Social media and online video, which enable the government to require platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to remove content that the government considers objectionable.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology of India has not yet responded to a request for comment.

This seems to be the first time Facebook has blocked or concealed calls for democratically elected world leaders to resign, which runs counter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s stated preference to retain content as much as possible. The ban seems to run counter to the principles of a platform that has been widely praised for its role in extending the Arab Spring. The platform triggered a wave of democratic rebellion and overthrew the Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak ( Hosni Mubarak) and the autocratic rulers of several other countries in the region.

Although there are signs that normal life will resume earlier this year, India is currently in the midst of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak, with increasing criticism of its leaders.

“The Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken on the difficult task of organizing an epidemic in a poor country like India and making it impossible,” Written for the Indian magazine “Caravan” on Tuesday.

This is what happens when you search for the #ResignModi tag on Facebook (at least in India).


Earlier this year, the number of cases in India plummeted, and most parts of the country returned to normal life.but March begins, The number of cases surged. According to reports, more than 360,000 people were infected and 3,293 people died yesterday. Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource CenterThe crisis has pushed the country’s healthcare system to the edge, People died in cars trying to enter Delhi hospital. Pre-election assembly with Religious gathering The virus has spread because the Modi government is scrambling to respond.

On Sunday, President Joe Biden announced The U.S. will rush to supply And the removal of restrictions on the export of raw materials needed to produce vaccines.

Facebook’s relationship with the Modi government and its Bharatiya Janata Party Since being censored Wall Street Journal It was revealed in August that the company’s senior policy staff in India protected a prominent BJP member and at least three other Hindu nationalists from being punished for violating Facebook’s hate speech rules.Employee Ankhi Das was Facebook’s head of India and South Asia and Central Asia policy, and later apologize with resignation After sharing a Facebook post, saying that Indian Muslims are a “degenerate community”, for them, “except for the purity of religion and the implementation of Sharia law, nothing matters”.

“In the context of a highly politicized environment and ongoing emergencies, Facebook has not been more transparent and has not commented on this, which is very worrying,” said Harvard Law School lecturer Evelyn Douek (Evelyn Douek) . “This seems to be the core political speech at a very critical moment.”

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