India, a country with 1.4 billion people, has been gripped by a deadly second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. But even as its healthcare system gasps for breath and its crematoriums burn with thousands of funeral pyres, its leaders are scrambling to censor the internet. Last week, India’s IT ministry ordered Twitter to block more than 50 tweets from being seen in the country. Days later, the New York Times , the Wall Street Journal , and the Times of India reported that Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube had also taken down posts that were critical of the government. Over the last week, ordinary people running WhatsApp and Telegram groups to help people find medical oxygen and hospital beds have complained of threats demanding that they shut them down, and police in the state of Uttar Pradesh filed a complaint against a man who asked for medical oxygen for his dying grandfather on Twitter, claiming that he was “spreading misleading information.” On Wednesday, posts with … [Read more...] about COVID-19 Is Devastating India. Its Government Is Trying To Censor Social Media.
Restoring internet freedom order
Since the day after the deadly Jan 6 riots on the US Capitol, former President Donald Trump’s social media accounts have been silent – muzzled for inciting violence using the platforms as online megaphones. On May 5, his fate on Facebook, the biggest social platform around, will be decided. The company’s quasi-independent Oversight Board will announce its ruling around 9am ET. If it rules in Trump’s favour, Facebook has seven days to reinstate the account. If the board upholds Facebook’s decision, Trump will remain “indefinitely” suspended. Politicians, free speech experts and activists around the world are watching the decision closely. It has implications not only for Trump but for tech companies, world leaders and people across the political spectrum – many of whom have wildly conflicting views of the proper role for technology companies when it comes to regulating online speech and protecting people from abuse and misinformation. After years of handling Trump’s inflammatory … [Read more...] about Facebook board’s Trump decision could have wider impacts
'The Article 370 decision has served the minorities of Jammu and Kashmir whose reaction is in stark contrast to that of the state's majority, the Kashmiri Muslims, who feel betrayed by the decision of the Government of India,' points out Preksha Sharma. Illustration: Dominic Xavier/ Rediff.com The state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), as we have known it, consisted of three contiguous regions with distinct cultures, languages, ideologies and religions, put together by a trade treaty and military conquest by Dogra ruler, Maharaja Gulab Singh. On August 5, the Union government of India reshaped the state's boundaries, slicing it into two Union territories, one with a legislature and the promise of becoming a state some day, and the other without a legislature but with a hope of getting one, perhaps on another day. This is the fate of the land that was tied to the Indian nation and Constitution through Articles 370 and 35A. Tied with a slender thread, arguably, one … [Read more...] about How J-K feels: Shock and awe in one part, celebrations in another
So the Tories have had exactly 11 years to undo all the damage of the Blair/Brown Labour years and to make Britain prosperous and free again. And what have they achieved that’s remotely conservative in that time? Nada. Zip. Zilch. If the Conservatives do well in Thursday’s local elections it won’t be because they have done anything to deserve it. As it happens, these elections are taking place on the 11th anniversary of the Conservatives taking power from Labour back on May 6th, 2010. Most of us, had we sat down with a notepad 11 years ago, could have come up with a wishlist for all the things we might have hoped a Conservative government would do. Probably, our lists would have looked quite similar. Near the top would have been: Exit the European Union. Brexit didn’t have a name back then. But we all knew roughly what it would look like: freedom from the regulations and constrictions of the sclerotic, corrupt and Socialistic (but I repeat myself) European superstate. No more … [Read more...] about Delingpole: Why I’m Not Voting Conservative on Thursday – Or, Indeed, Ever Again…