India asks Twitter to remove some posts criticizing handling of the pandemic

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The Indian government has asked the social media platform Twitter to remove dozens of tweets, including some from local lawmakers, criticizing its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, as COVID-19 cases hit a record high again. world.

Twitter has withheld some of the tweets following a legal request from the Indian government, a company spokeswoman told Reuters on Saturday.

The government issued an emergency order to censor tweets, Twitter revealed in the Lumen database, a project of Harvard University.

India’s Ministry of Information Technology did not respond to a request for comment.

In the government request, dated April 23 and published in Lumen, 21 tweets were mentioned. They included tweets from lawmaker Revnath Reddy, a West Bengal state minister, Moloy Ghatak, and filmmaker Avinash Das.

In its request, the government cited the Information Technology Act of 2000, according to Lumen. Reuters was unable to independently confirm Lumen’s information.

In the past, India has used the Information Technology Act to block information in an attempt to protect “India’s sovereignty and integrity” and maintain public order, among other things.

“When we receive a valid legal request, we review it in accordance with Twitter’s standards and local law,” the Twitter spokeswoman said in an emailed statement on Saturday.

“If the content violates Twitter’s rules, the content will be removed from the service. If it is found to be illegal in a particular jurisdiction, but does not violate Twitter’s rules, we may withhold access to the content only in India,” it added.

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