Farmers Protest: Social media managers of Kisan Ekta Morcha, one of the most significant pages currently in use for the protest, said their Facebook page was removed for around three hours.
Facebook and social media platform, Instagram accounts being used b
y the farmers who are protesting the government’s new agricultural laws were intentionally blocked on Sunday following a live broadcast, the demonstrators even alleged, stoking a debate about online censorship.
However, the pages were restored around three hours later. One of the most significant pages being used for the movement, managers of Kisan Ekta Morcha, said their page was removed by tech giant Facebook, which claimed that it had gone against its community standards on spam.
Their page on Instagram, the social media app which is also owned by Facebook that is battling accusations of favoring the ruling BJP and the government to protect its business interests, has faced similar action and was not allowed to share new posts said.
Meanwhile, Facebook has said that they regretted the inconvenience but still has not yet specified why the page was taken down.
Facebook, Instagram Accounts Blocked After Showing Live Video Of Farmers Protest
“We have restored Kisan Ekta Morcha’s Facebook page and regret the inconvenience caused,” said a Facebook spokesperson.
According to the demonstrating groups, the blocking was done just after a live broadcast by Swaraj India chief Yogendra Yadav, one of the protest leaders. He announced that the farmers would take part in an indefinite hunger strike starting Monday.
Mr. Yadav also called on citizens to bang plates during Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s next monthly radio broadcast called, Mann ki Baat, due next Sunday, to kindly ask the Prime Minister, “when will you listen to our (the farmers’) baat.”
The Prime Minister had urged people to bang plates in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to thank frontline workers.
Thousands of farmers have been continuously camping on the borders of New Delhi for over three weeks now, demanding the central government roll back the reforms that were intended to bring an investment in the farm sector but which the farmers say will be leaving them at the mercy of big corporations.
The protesters, who are led by around 40 unions, have repeatedly rebuffed PM Narendra Modi and his ministers’ attempts to reach a mutual compromise, in what has become the biggest challenge from the country’s farmers in his six-year rule.