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Facebook says it temporarily blocked posts with #ResignModi ‘by mistake’

After some confusion over Facebook posts containing the hashtag ‘ResignModi’disappearing from the timeline of users in India, the Menlo-Park based social media powerhouse clarified late India hours that it was done by “mistake”.

While it isn’t clear for how long these posts were blocked, Facebook restored search results under the hashtag at around 1 AM on Thursday, Entrackr has independently verified.

“We temporarily blocked this hashtag by mistake, not because the Indian government asked us to, and have since restored it,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in response to queries sent by Entrackr.

Before the search results were restored, when we searched for the phrase ‘resignmodi’ on Facebook, it returned with a page saying “posts with resignmodi are temporarily hidden here.” On the same page, the company said the search results were hidden because “some posts” went against its community standards.

Facebook

It is not clear why Facebook had to block all posts under the tag when it itself said that only “some”posts violated its guidelines. The Facebook spokeswoman did not share specific comments to Entrackr’s questions.

This development comes only days after the social media giant, along with Twitter, had complied with blocking orders issued by the Indian government and removed posts critical of the administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The government said these posts were blocked as they were trying to create panic about the COVID-19 situation in the country. In its response, Twitter said that it was simply adhering to the government’s blocking order as per Indian laws. 

India has been reeling under the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic which has left several people scrambling for life saving elements like hospital beds, oxygen cylinders and even for final resting places. Social media posts and several media reports said that many Indian cities have run out of space at several cremation grounds as the death toll keeps adding numbers every passing day. 

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