India wants to increase the censorship of social networks

Don’t say “Indian variant” anymore, but rather “B.1.617”. Concerned about the deterioration of its image in the world, India made the social networks used in the country on Friday the 21st second wave of Covid-19 epidemic, which has flooded the subcontinent since March.

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The Hindu nationalist government of Narendra Modi makes this a question of principle, whereby the World Health Organization (WHO) itself refrains from coupling SARS-CoV-2 variants to a specific geographical location.

“We have learned that there is a false statement circulating on the Internet that a Variant if of the coronavirus is spreading in all countries. This is completely WRONG “She slams New Delhi in capital letters in a letter addressed to the leaders of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, among others – but it could read Reuters agency and the Indian news site The cable.

Inapplicable measure of the autocratic regime

A surprisingly late explanation, when the term “Indian variant” has been used since March, as well as the adjectives “British”, “Brazilian” and “South African” to designate the new strains of SARS-CoV-2, has surfaced in recent months.

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Science, politics and the media worldwide refer to these nationalities in connection with the country in which the respective variant was first discovered. Regarding B.1.617, it was first sighted on October 5, 2020 near Nagpur, the city that is exactly in the geographical center of India.

According to the leader of one of the major global social networks concerned, anonymously quoted by the Indian press, it would be difficult to remove all content with the adjective “Indian” as it “Hundreds of thousands”. In addition, this measure, if applied, is “Would lead to keyword-based censorship in the future”. It therefore inappropriately shows how sensitively the ruling autocratic regime reacts to its reputation when the population begins to hold it accountable and break dramatic records.

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May the country officially lamented more than 300,000 deaths from Covid-19, but experts agree the current number is two to three times higher. The official number of positively identified people will soon approach 30 million, but the actual number of contaminations could be ten times higher, around 300 million.

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