India’s blocking of BBC documentary on Modi contradicts dedication to democracy: CPJ

NEW DELHI: In response to Indian authorities’ proscribing entry to the BBC documentary “India: The Modi Query” on YouTube and Twitter, the Committee to Shield Journalists issued the next assertion calling for entry to the documentary to be restored.

“The Indian authorities’s order to social media platforms to dam a BBC documentary about Prime Minister Narendra Modi is an assault on the free press that flagrantly contradicts the nation’s acknowledged dedication to democratic beliefs,” stated Beh Lih Yi, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “Authorities should instantly restore full and unrestricted entry to the documentary and withdraw laws below the Data Expertise Act that imperil press freedom and freedom of expression on-line.”

On January 20, the Ministry of Data and Broadcasting ordered YouTube and Twitter to take down hyperlinks sharing the primary episode of the two-part BBC documentary investigating Modi’s alleged position in 2002 riots in Gujarat, in keeping with information stories. Clips of the documentary, which didn’t air in India, have been shared broadly on social media.

In keeping with the Occasions of India, the businesses complied and eliminated about 50 tweets and an unspecified variety of YouTube movies.

The ministry issued its order below laws, up to date in 2021, that expanded authorities’s powers to censor on-line content material, which CPJ criticized on the time. Authorities have additionally lately proposed laws that may require intermediaries, together with social media platforms, to take away information articles recognized as “faux” or “false,” in keeping with information stories.

CPJ emailed Google, Twitter, and the Indian Ministry of Data and Broadcasting for remark, however didn’t obtain any replies.