Facebook blocks #ResignModi campaign for hours, then says ‘by mistake’

Agencies
April 29, 2021

Modi-Zuckerberg.jpg

Apr 29: Facebook Inc. blocked posts tagged #ResignModi before restoring them hours later, stoking a controversy that’s erupted over government requests to remove social media content as India grapples with an escalating Covid crisis.

Facebook said it barred the hashtag by mistake and not at the behest of the government, without elaborating. Facebook periodically blocks hashtags for a variety of reasons, some manually but many also based on automated internal guidelines. The error stemmed from content associated with the label and not the hashtag itself, the spokesperson added.

The hours-long block, which came ahead of the final phase of lawmaker elections in a key state and effectively wiped posts calling on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resign, follows public outrage and official efforts to curb content critical of the way his government has handled the pandemic. This year, the country established new rules that require the likes of Facebook and Twitter Inc. to take down unlawful content quicker, triggering a debate over freedom of speech in the world’s largest democracy.

“We temporarily blocked this hashtag by mistake, not because the Indian government asked us to, and have since restored it,” a Facebook company spokesperson said.

A fresh wave of the coronavirus has roiled India in recent weeks, leaving hospital beds, medicines and oxygen in short supply. Crematoriums are overrun, and India has reported several days of more than 300,000 new daily infections. Many have taken to social media to seek help for their predicament, inundating services like WhatsApp and Instagram with pleas for everything from hospital beds to medicines, CT scans, doorstep Covid tests, and even food for the elderly in quarantine.

It’s also stirred public anger over the handling of the crisis. India’s government in response has ordered US social media companies to block posts, saying Covid-related misinformation risked spurring a panic and disrupting efforts to bring the pandemic under control.

Twitter Inc. has removed or restricted access to Covid-related posts over the past month. Earlier this year, the social media giant had to permanently suspend more than 500 accounts and block access to hundreds of others in India, acceding to a government order to restrain the spread of misinformation and inflammatory content related to farmers’ protests. The company has said it reviews all valid legal requests it receives under the company’s guidelines and local rules.

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News Network
October 11,2021

Jammu, Oct 11: In one of the bloodiest encounters this year, five Army soldiers, including an officer, were killed during an anti-insurgency operation in Jammu and Kashmir’s border Poonch district on Monday.

A defence spokesman said the operation was launched in a village close to Dera Ki Gali in Surankote, Poonch, during early hours of Monday following inputs about the presence of terrorists there.

“The hiding terrorists opened heavy fire on the search parties resulting in critical injuries to a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and four other ranks. They died from their injuries,” he said.

There are reports that a group of heavily-armed militants have managed to sneak from across the Line of Control (LoC) and are hiding in Chamrer forest in Poonch, sources said. Reinforcements of both Army and police, including senior officers, have rushed to the spot.

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News Network
October 22,2021

Bengaluru, Oct 23: Prices of petrol and diesel across the nation were hiked by 35 paise for the fourth consecutive day, a notification by oil marketing companies (OMCs) showed.

A litre of petrol in Delhi now costs Rs 107.24, while diesel costs Rs 95.97 per litre. In Mumbai, the rate of petrol currently stands at Rs 113.12 per litre and a litre of diesel at Rs 104.00.

Similarly, in Bengaluru, a litre of petrol costs Rs 110.98 per litre and diesel Rs 101.86 per litre.

Prices differ from state to state, depending on the incidence of local taxes.

Petrol price has been hiked on 19 occasions since September 28, when a three-week-long hiatus in rate revision ended. In all, prices have gone up by Rs 5.7 a litre.

Diesel rates have been increased by Rs 7 per litre in 22 hikes since September 24.

Prior to that, the petrol price was increased by Rs 11.44 a litre between May 4 and July 17. The diesel rate had gone up by Rs 9.14 per litre during this period.

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News Network
October 15,2021

Mumbai, Oct 15: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Friday called upon the government to come out with a population policy that is acceptable by one and all. 

“While reimagining the country’s development one predicament comes to the fore which appears to concern many. The rapid growth of the country’s population may give rise to many problems in the near future. Therefore, this challenge must be duly considered,” Bhagwat said addressing the annual VijayDashami rally at Nagpur. 

Bhagwat also read out the resolution which was passed on this issue during the Akhil Bharatiya Karyakari Mandal (All India Executive Committee) meeting of Sangh held at Ranchi in 2015.

"The ubiquitous and effective implementation of relevant policies pertaining to these matters will require widespread public sensitisation and impartial actions,” he said.

Bhagwat pointed out that in the present circumstances, news of persecution of native Hindus, growing criminalisation and a mounting pressure on them to escape their areas where an imbalanced population growth have surfaced. 

“The violence that broke out following the elections of West Bengal and the pitiable condition of the Hindu people there can also be attributed to the appeasement of barbarous elements by the government and population imbalance,” he said.

“Therefore, a policy that is applicable to all groups in the same fashion is imperative. All of us need to inculcate the habit of considering the collective national interest above everything while coming out of attractive cobweb of milking the parochial group interests,” Bhagwat added.

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