Thousands have been resented across India after the government ordered Twitter, a social media platform, to remove posts critical of virus handling.
A Twitter spokesperson confirmed that some material was blocked from being displayed in India.
The country is facing a massive surge in cases where many hospitals are facing oxygen deficiencies.
One Twitter user accused the government of “I found it easier to delete tweets than to secure oxygen supply.”
India recorded 352,991 new infections on Monday, killing 2,812 people. This is the highest surge of the day so far.
The government has issued an urgent order to censor tweets, Twitter revealed in Lumen. Lumen is a database that tracks World Government orders regarding online content.
Twitter did not identify the deleted content, but media reports reported that Narendra Modi was a West Bengal politician who was directly responsible for Covid’s death and a political rally while the virus was rampant. Contains tweets from actors who criticize Mr Modi for opening.
Twitter said it reviewed the content when it received a “valid legal request.” In this case, the Government of India is said to have cited the Information Technology Act 2000.
“If it’s determined to be illegal in certain jurisdictions, but it doesn’t violate Twitter’s rules, we can only withhold access to content in India,” the platform said.
Indian officials said the material in question could be misleading or panicking.
“We need to take action against users who are abusing social media for unethical purposes during this serious humanitarian crisis,” a minister of electronics and electronics technology told The Hindu.
On social media, many criticized the government for focusing on “censorship” while the country was in the midst of a “humanitarian disaster.”
Many online also criticized Twitter for complying with the order and called it an “accomplice.”
Twitter is overwhelmed by reports that people are sick and need oxygen and beds. So far, it has been criticized for succumbing to pressure from the Indian government.
In February, the platform blocked more than 500 accounts related to ongoing farmers’ protests against agricultural reform after the government issued a legal notice. If Twitter didn’t follow this, it could mean prison time for Twitter employees in India.
Earlier this year, the Indian government believed it had defeated the virus. New cases had dropped to 11,000 by mid-February, vaccines were exported, and in March the Minister of Health said India was “late” in the pandemic.
However, since then, the increase in incidents has been driven by the emergence of new variants and popular rallies such as the Kumbh Mela Festival, which brought together millions of pilgrims earlier this month.
Modi faces growing criticism of lifting restrictions and resuming large-scale rallies.
On Sunday, the Prime Minister said the second wave was a “country-shaking” storm, but a “positive approach” is the key to fighting a pandemic.