India urged social media companies to remove COVID posts from ‘Indian variant’


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  • India’s technology ministry has reportedly asked social media companies to remove the term “Indian variant”.
  • The request was sent by mail on Friday, Reuters and AFP reported.
  • The letter reportedly said that the phrase “Indian variant” was “completely WRONG”.
  • See more stories on the Insider business page.

Members of the Indian government have asked social media companies to remove mentions of the “Indian variant” from their networks, according to multiple reports.

A letter, which was not made public, was reportedly sent by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology to social media companies on Friday, telling them the phrase ‘Indian variant’ was’ completely FALSE “.

AFP said the letter asked companies to “remove all content” related to the informal name.

According to Reuters, the letter said: “There is no variant of Covid-19 scientifically cited as such by the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO has only associated the term ‘Indian variant’ with the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus in any of its reports. ”

Officials in India for months have been pushing social media companies to remove some content related to COVID-19.

Data on the spread of the virus posted on social media has “caused panic” among the public, the country’s technology leadership said in a recent letter.

The government on Friday released a pair of open letters addressed to “all social media platforms” and signed by Rakesh Maheshwari, group coordinator for cyber laws and electronic security.

It is not known which tech companies received the letters, although Twitter, Facebook and others have large user bases in India.

In one of the letters, dated May 7, Maheshwari wrote: “As the crown has created a hue and a cry across the country today, it has been reported in the media that there is a trend spreading false, false / misleading information and anonymously sharing Corona virus data on various social media platforms creating panic among the public. “

The government has also asked companies to issue warnings to “impostors” who they say have published false or misleading data.

In February, Indian officials announced new regulations for Twitter, Facebook and other major social media networks. They should be “more responsible and more responsible,” an official told Reuters at the time.

Earlier in February, Twitter suspended around 500 local accounts after ministry officials sent out several orders asking for users to be blocked.

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