Facebook had closed Kisan Ekta Morcha page on Sunday as the page was against its “community standards on spam”.However, due to the outrage in the public, Facebook restored the page that had been sharing updates on the farmers’ protest against the Centre’s farm laws. The move came at a time when questions are being raised about the social media giant’s alleged bias towards the BJP. The Kisan Ekta Morcha page had more than 7 lakh followers. According to the protesting unions, the account was removed shortly after Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav announced in a live video that farmers will hold a relay hunger strike on Monday.
Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported that the social media giant did not ban Bajrang Dal from its platform owing not only to political and business considerations, but also due to concern for employees’ safety. Apart from Bajrang Dal, Facebook’s security team also warned against banning two other right-wing groups, Sanatan Sanstha and Sri Ram Sena, from the platform.
A screenshot tweeted by the group showed the page was removed by Facebook citing “community standards on spam”.
The news of KEM suspension caused a flurry of reaction pouring on Twitter. Several users accused Facebook of stifling dissent. Digital advocacy group Internet Freedom Foundation tweeted,
“The action taken by Facebook to close the Kisan Ekta Morcha requires a close look at its content moderation practices and policies. India has close to 300 million Facebook users. It’s largest market. Even then there is little transparency or accountability,”
Hundreds of thousands of farmers have come onto roads leading into New Delhi for the past three weeks demanding a repeal of laws that give them the freedom to sell their produce directly to private companies. The protesters are demanding nothing short of an official annulment of the three laws before they decide to leave the roads.
Stay tuned to this space for latest news. Sign in for our newsletter to get daily updates delivered to your mailbox.