Indian government requires Twitter to take down posts critical of COVID handling

The Indian government required Twitter to remove dozens of tweets, including from local authorities, that were criticizing India’s handling of the COVID outbreak, as cases hit a world record. In the government’s legal request, 100 tweets were mentioned, among them there were messages from congressmen, ministers of state and artists. The government based its request on the Information Technology Act of 2000. The government likely justified the removal of the tweets to the protection of the integrity of the country and the maintenance of public order.  The India IT ministry said that the was ‘a misuse of social media platforms by certain users to spread fake or misleading information and create panic about the COVID-19 situation in India’. Lawmakers and human rights activists estimate that the removal of these tweets put citizens’ health at risk and violates freedom of expression.