Elon Musk bows to pressure from India to censor BBC documentary critical of Modi

By | January 25, 2023

The Intercept reports:

Twitter and YouTube censored a report critical of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in coordination with the government of India. Officials called for the Big Tech companies to take action against a BBC documentary exploring Modi’s role in a genocidal 2002 massacre in the Indian state of Gujarat, which the officials deemed a “propaganda piece.”

In a series of posts, Kanchan Gupta, senior adviser at the Indian government’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, denounced the BBC documentary as “hostile propaganda and anti-India garbage.” He said that both Twitter and YouTube had been ordered to block links to the film, before adding that the platforms “have complied with the directions.” Gupta’s statements coincided with posts from Twitter users in India who claimed to have shared links to the documentary but whose posts were later removed and replaced with a legal notice.

“The government has sent hundreds of requests to different social media platforms, especially YouTube and Twitter, to take down the posts that share snippets or links to the documentary,” Indian journalist Raqib Hameed Naik told The Intercept. “And shamefully, the companies are complying with their demands and have taken down numerous videos and posts.”

This act of censorship — wiping away allegations of crimes against humanity committed by a foreign leader — sets a worrying tone for Twitter, especially in light of its new management.

Elon Musk’s self-identification as a “free-speech absolutist” has been a primary talking point for the billionaire as he has sought to explain why he took ownership of the platform last year. Much of his criticism of Twitter revolved around its decision to censor reporting around Hunter Biden, the son of then-presidential candidate Joe Biden. [Continue reading…]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email