According to reports, the social media networks Facebook and Twitter hid the posts that contained the hashtag #ResignModi. However, they restored the post after few hours. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is being heavily criticized for downplaying coronavirus crises in the country. He was receiving a lot of hate on social media along with serious calls for his resignation.
The public has accused both platforms of siding with the Indian Government led by Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). Over the weekend, several reports came out that PM Modi has asked social media giants to remove posts related to the Covid situation in India.
Does Facebook and Twitter Favor Indian Government?
The message that appeared on anti-Modi posts when they were hidden said that these posts were temporarily hidden for violating community standards. Analysts have been confused about what kind of content violated the supposed “community standards” while the tech giants largely promote open expression against all political parties, and even religions. So why something against Narendra Modi caused so much problem for the tech giants?
Questions like that have been bothering the nation even after the tech giants restored the posts. They accused Twitter and Facebook for facilitating BJP’s agenda of suppressing voices that are critical of Indian government.
Is India Worried About Covid or its International Image?
There is a need for extra care and intellect to battle the deadly covid situation in the country. India has been offered to receive foreign aid but it is still not expected to make the situation any better. On top of all that misery, a new strain of coronavirus is also devastating India on enormous levels. In that light, the public may have expected the PM to take serious actions for curbing the spread but political, religious, and social gatherings have been going on in full spirit.
After all of this, urging social media to hide the posts on this situation is a very low-level decision. This has led people to wonder if India is only worried about its international image rather than curbing the virus.
The Tech Giants Deny Involvement with Modi
Facebook and Twitter claimed that they removed the #ResignModi posts by mistake and not because the Indian government asked. However, it did not help satisfy the furious public who thinks BJP has immense influence over internet tools including social media. It is to be noted that the country which is capable of running a massive disinformation network, can have other tricks up its sleeve as well.
Facebook has previously blocked hashtags like #StopTheSteal which was being run by the Trump administration to manipulate the public into thinking that Donald Trump was the real winner of US elections 2020. Unlike #ResignModi, that hashtag is still banned with the same message that appeared on hidden anti-Modi posts.