New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the raging controversy over the Centre asking Twitter to remove certain accounts and posts from its platform, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) on Sunday clarified that step was taken to check the spread of "fake news" and "misinformation" about the ongoing COVID-19 crisis on social media platforms.

"In view of social media misuse by certain users to spread fake info about COVID situation by using unrelated/ old/ out of context images/ visuals, misinformation about COVID protocols, Ministry of Electronics and IT(MeitY) asked social media platforms to remove around 100 posts," MeitY sources were quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The development comes at a time when India is registering a record number of coronavirus infections daily. The number of COVID-19 cases touched a new daily high of 3.46 lakh cases and 2,624 fatalities on Saturday.

Meanwhile, a Twitter spokesperson said when it receives a valid legal request, it reviews it under both Twitter Rules and local law.

If the content violates Twitter's Rules, the content will be removed from the service. If it is determined to be illegal in a particular jurisdiction, but not in violation of the Twitter Rules, we may withhold access to the content in India only.

"The legal requests that we receive are detailed in the biannual Twitter Transparency Report, and requests to withhold content are published on Lumen, the spokesperson said.

Reports citing Lumen database (an independent research project studying cease and desist letters concerning online content) suggested that more than 50 posts - including those by a member of Parliament, MLA and filmmakers - were removed by Twitter on government request.

Meanwhile, Twitter said ahead of withholding the content, it has notified the account holders so that they're aware that the action has been taken in response to a legal request from the Government of India.

The microblogging platform emphasised that it is committed to the principles of openness and transparency, and that it tackles misinformation based on the highest potential for harm.

It noted that it is tackling COVID-19 misinformation using a combination of product, technology, and human review.

(With agency inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma