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Facebook says it blocked #ResignModi posts “by mistake” — but it hardly seems like an accident

Last night, when most of India was sleeping, Facebook temporarily blocked posts that included the #ResignModi hashtag— criticizing the Prime Minister‘s handling of the raging Coronavirus pandemic — and restored them hours later.

The company said that the blocking was an oversight, and New Delhi didn’t order the social networking giant to restrict it:

We temporarily blocked this hashtag by mistake, not because the Indian government asked us to, and have since restored it.

This incident raises a lot of eyebrows because at one end we have the government, which ordered Facebook and Twitter to remove more than 100 posts that objurgated the country’s poor handling of the current surge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more than a week, India has registered more than 300,000 daily cases with thousands of deaths. And the country’s healthcare system is struggling to keep up with rising demands for hospital beds, medicines, and medical-grade oxygen.