Facebook And The Resign Hashtag: What And Why Did It Happen?

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COVID-19 and oxygen are among the most searched and trending keywords on the internet right now. Alongside, we spotted a new #ResignModi hashtag emerge on Twitter and Facebook. However, there was some chaos on Facebook as the platform restricted all content containing the hashtag, before restoring it soon after. Here's what happened.

 

Facebook And The Resign Hashtag

Facebook And The Hashtag

The trending hashtag emerged as netizens lashed out at the Indian government and Prime Minister Modi over the second wave of the pandemic. The #ResignModi hashtag, as the name suggests, called for the resignation of the Prime Minister after reports of the country's collapsing healthcare system emerged.

However, Facebook blocked the #ResignModi. Soon there were reports and comments on how Facebook was censoring posts. On the other hand, there were comments that the trending hashtag was violating its community standard. In truth, the reason for blocking the hashtag, as Facebook calls it, was an 'accident'.

Why Did Facebook Block The Hashtag?

As soon as Facebook blocked the hashtag, the clicks were redirected to a page that read 'Keeping our community safe'. The page read: "Posts with #ResginModi are temporarily hidden here. Some content in those posts goes against our community standards."

"We temporarily blocked this hashtag by mistake, not because the Indian government asked us to," was the comment from Andy Stone from Facebook communications. Stone further tweeted saying the hashtag was restored and that Facebook is looking into what happened.

More Than An 'Accident'?

Facebook suffered a massive backlash for blocking the hashtag. Moreover, Twitter also removed several tweets following requests from the Indian government. "When we receive a valid legal request, we review it under both the Twitter Rules and local law. If the content violates Twitter's Rules, the content will be removed from the service," Twitter further stated in a statement.

 

However, when Facebook said it had removed the #ResignModi hashtag 'accidentally', it raised a lot of eyebrows. Facebook has been making its presence felt in the country for a while and has been looking for a massive expansion. Facebook recently invested a lump sum in India's conglomerate, Reliance Jio.

Presently, if you look up the #ResignModi hashtag on Facebook, the page opens to the reality of the pandemic in India. One can find pictures and posts of hospitals running out of beds, burning grounds in the country, and so on. It remains to see till when the platform will allow the hashtag to run, considering the overwhelming response it's been getting.

(via)

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