The Indian government is demanding that social media companies remove all references to the “Indian version” of Covid 19 – a term that is not scientifically correct and has hurt the country’s image.
It is impossible for tech companies to comply with widespread requests, including the removal of numerous pieces of content, including news articles. But it focuses on how to refer to the COVID-1 var conversion that is driving new outbreaks around the world without racism or xenophobic sentiments.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is launching a campaign to bring social media sites to the hill. Destructive effect a COVID-19 increase across India.
Naming the virus
Of the World Health Organization (WHO) Warning against 201 guidelines Their origin in pathogenic nomenclature places where potential communities are at risk of being stigmatized. Attacks on people of East Asian descent Is on the rise in the US – which many groups say is the result of the stubbornness of former President Donald Trump and others. Calling COVID-19 “China virus”.
There are indications that news of India’s outbreak could provoke similar hatred. Officials in Singapore An uptick condemnation of Indian anti-racism Earlier this month, a woman of Indian descent was beaten and tied to India’s COVID-19 spike.
In a letter dated May 21, India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology claimed that the term “Indian version” was misinterpreted. “It has come to our notice that a false statement is being spread online which indicates that the ‘Indian version’ of the coronavirus is spreading across the country. This is completely wrong. There is no such thing as COVID-1 of scientifically cited by the World Health Organization (WHO). ”
The WHO advises the use of location-based terms for variants, and specifies the official name for the first variant found in India: B.1.11171. Follows the format indicated by the name Evolutionary relationships between SARS-CoV-2 lineages, Official terms for other forms of anxiety, such as those discovered in the UK (B.1.1.7) and South Africa (B.1.351).
But the official designation does not stick to people’s memories, does not easily turn on the tongue or make for good titles. Location names are widely used as a reference for these types of shorthand references, warning that they are problematic.
The WHO says it is working on a new system “that gives the form of anxiety an easily memorable name.” But community groups have criticized the WHO for moving too fast. It took the organization six weeks Announce the name “COVID-19” The issue of coronavirus infection was first reported in Wuhan, China.
Sabrina Malkhi, a spokeswoman for the South Asian Federation of Journalists (SAJA), said: “I don’t see why they should take so long to name this difference. On May 7, Saja issued a statement to reporters pointing to WHO guidelines on the subject, not the “Indian version”. “The former president of the United States called the coronavirus a ‘China virus’ and we have seen an increase in violence against Asian-Americans, some say for this reason,” she told Time. “We weren’t like the COVID variant born in India.”
The new naming of the WHO could be similar to the conference system Used for hurricanes in the United States, WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan Said Hindu The newspaper earlier this month said “it … it would be easier to make public than to remember the complex ancestry numbers,” he said.
India is overwhelmed on social media
Social media companies, which will be implemented in India on Wednesday, had already prepared a raft of rules on their platforms. The rules mandate greater transparency and give users a stronger right to appeal to content takedowns. He also vowed that social media companies must remove content that is considered illegal within three days of being notified by the government, including “interest in India’s sovereignty and integrity”, public order, decency, ethics, or content inciting crime. . Companies will also have to hire employees who can arrest Indian police and be legally accountable if the rules are not followed.
But even India’s new Internet rules do not provide a legal basis for the government to demand a detailed takedown, such as the removal of the “Indian version”. “But there is a vague sense of danger hanging in the air,” says Apar Gupta, executive director of the Internet Freedom Foundation, a New Delhi-based digital rights group. “The rules that are about to come into force are so strict and so vague that they give governments great power,” she says. “And you clearly don’t want to do anything that hurts your business interests. So there is a perception of risk, although there is no need to punish or enforce it. “
State pressure is mounting on social media companies in India. Last month, in the midst of a devastating wave of COVID-1, the government forced Facebook and Twitter to remove posts by elected lawmakers criticizing the government’s response to the virus. On Monday, Indian police raided Twitter’s New Delhi office after the forum labeled “manipulated media” in several posts by members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Offices were empty due to epidemic safety measures, but the message was clear to social media platforms operating in India, and broadcast to everyone watching on national television.