Twitter and Facebook To Remove Misleading Posts About Covid-19: Govt Requested today
The Center has asked social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to remove content and posts that spread misinformation about the pandemic, the sources said.
Additionally, Twitter has said that it has notified affected account holders of its action taken in response to a government legal request but did not provide details of the affected accounts.
Sources told PTI that social media platforms have flagged posts containing misleading information about the Covid-19 pandemic, which were designed to incite public panic.
The development comes at a time when India is seeing a record number of coronavirus infections on a daily basis. The number of Covid-19 cases touched a new record of 3.46 lakh cases and 2,624 deaths on Saturday.
When contacted, a Twitter spokesperson said that when the company receives a valid legal request, it reviews it according to Twitter Rules and local law.
“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 the Twitter Rules, we may deny access to content in India only.
“The legal requests we receive are detailed in Twitter’s semi-annual Transparency Report, and content retention requests are posted on Lumen,” the spokesperson said.
Reports citing the Lumen database (an independent research project studying cease and desist letters related to online content) suggested that more than 50 posts, including those from a Member of Parliament, MLA, and filmmakers, were removed by Twitter at the request of the government.
Meanwhile, Twitter said that before withholding the content, it notified the account holders to let them know that the action was taken in response to a legal request from the Government of India.
The microblogging platform emphasized that it is committed to the principles of openness and transparency and that it addresses misinformation based on the greatest potential for harm.
He noted that he is addressing Covid-19 misinformation using a combination of product, technology, and human review. But, Facebook and Instagram did not respond to inquiries.
According to news sources, the government flagged various posts and content on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other websites on Friday.
These posts contained misinformation about Covid, were designed to incite public panic and create a feeling of ill will towards healthcare personnel, they added.