Facebook created some posts demanding Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s resignation from office, concealed from the public for a short time in India, at a time when the nation is fighting with the Covid-19 pressure. Facebook stated that it appeared that “by mistake” and not because the Indian government ordered it so. This is the second incident where opinions significant of the ruling government were disdained, particularly in the middle of the crisis that has created India an epicenter of the pandemic. A few days back, Twitter had to cover as many as 50 posts that were crucial to the government’s way of managing the Covid-19 situation in India, in response to the government’s position.
Facebook Wednesday concealed posts holding the hashtag or text “#ResignModi” completely in India. The social media giant stated it did that because “some content in those posts goes against our Community Standards.” People in India could not see these posts, but, those in the US, Canada, or the UK could view them easily. These posts remained hidden for about three hours, but after the first report on this was shared, Facebook let these posts be seen in India, backtracking on its previous decision linked to community guideline infringements.
Facebook representative Andy Stone told that “We temporarily blocked this hashtag by mistake, not because the Indian government asked us to, and have since restored it.” Since the posts were covered in India, it is not instantly obvious how they were discovered violating Facebook’s community guidelines. And since Facebook is demanding the Indian government had nothing to do with this takedown of posts, there appears a bigger question for the social media giant. And that question aims at the company’s community guidelines. And the algorithm that Facebook is using to browse posts across the platform. Since posts with the particular #ResignModi were hidden, Facebook requires to interpret more in terms of what else it found was against the guidelines.
This is the second event in recent times where a social media company has eliminated content that does not support the Modi government or its way of managing the pandemic. Before Twitter hid several posts on its platform from observing in India and these posts were crucial to how the government is managing the Covid-19 outbreak. But Twitter did not take the judgment arbitrarily. The Indian government asked Twitter to take down these posts. Later, the Indian government said that it asked Twitter to exclude only those posts that were found circulating misinformation about the Covid-19 condition in India, not the ones that scrutinized the government’s ways of handling the pandemic.
Facebook has been under investigation ever since a Wall Street Journal investigation claimed a top Indian executive was found shielding a BJP member and other Hindu nationalists from the embargo under the community guidelines of the company. Last year, in August, Facebook’s India policy head Ankhi Das arrived before a Parliament panel to answer questions linked to her going against the company’s hate speech guidelines to shield certain people by asking the content moderation crew not to control their questionable posts. Between the increasing allegations, Das resigned from Facebook in October, a move the facebook said had nothing to do with the dispute but because Das wanted to advance her interest in public service.