Facebook, on April 29, said that it had temporarily blocked posts with the hashtag #ResignModi "by mistake" and that it had not been done on orders from the government.
As the second wave continues to wreak havoc in India, people took to social media apps to criticise Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his government's response to the crisis with many even calling for his resignation using #ResignModi.
According to reports and screenshots posted by users on the social media platform, including Twitter, a hashtag calling for the resignation of Modi was briefly blocked on Facebook.
Users who tried searching for posts with the hashtag were given a message that said such posts were "temporarily hidden here" because "some content in those posts goes against our Community Standards".
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
"We temporarily blocked this hashtag by mistake, not because the Indian government asked us to, and have since restored it," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement, as per a Bloomberg report.
The development comes amid reports that social media companies are being asked to remove posts that are critical of the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier, reports suggested that Twitter had taken down posts critical of the government after requests from the Centre.
A tweet by Congress National Spokesperson Pawan Khera was also taken down. Khera said he had sent a legal notice to Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Twitter for taking down his April 12 tweet about "double standards on Kumbh Mela and Tablighi Jamaat".
The IT Ministry denied the clampdown and said that it had ordered the takedown of only those posts found spreading misinformation around COVID-19
India has registered a record number of COVID-19 cases daily that has put extreme pressure on the healthcare infrastructure of the country. The massive rise in infections in the second wave of the pandemic has led to hospitals in several states reeling under a severe shortage of medical oxygen and beds.Click here for Moneycontrol's full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak