Amid severe criticism that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing in handling the monstrous COVID-19 wave in the country, Facebook on Wednesday Temporarily blocked the #ResignModi hashtag.
Over 12,000 posts were included in the hashtag, which called for the resignation of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister.
Facebook users who searched for the hashtag on the platform were shown that posts were ‘temporarily hidden’ and a message: “Some content in those posts goes against our community standards.”
The hashtag was yet again restored by Facebook at 1:20 am on Thursday. “We temporarily blocked this hashtag by mistake, not because the Indian government asked us to, and have since restored it,” a Facebook spokesperson said, as quoted by The Guardian.
Hours after the controversy, the Ministry of Electronics and IT issued a statement saying that no such direction to block any hashtag was given to Facebook by the Centre.
This move also comes amid reports that the Modi government asked the social media platform Twitter to take down dozens of tweets, including those by state legislators and members of parliament, that were critical of its ongoing COVID-19 response.
In February too, Twitter withheld several accounts of organizations and individuals in relation to the farmer protests in the country’s capital. The social media platform said that its action was in response to a legal demand.
Earlier in August last year, the Wall Street Journal highlighted in a report that Facebook compromised on its hate-speech policy to favor the ruling BJP government.