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Govt Orders Social Media To Remove Content Mentioning ‘Indian Variant’ Of Coronavirus

New Delhi: The Centre once again showed its sensitivity towards issues which could damage Indian government’s image in the eyes of the world as it directed social media companies to immediately remove any content which mentions or refers to the term ‘Indian variant’ of coronavirus.

In an advisory issued on Friday, the IT ministry has written to all social media companies that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has not associated the term ‘Indian variant” with the B.1.617 variant of coronavirus in any of its reports.

The ministry pointed out that a “false statement” is being circulated online implying that an ‘Indian variant’ of the virus has spread across several countries.

The directive also mentioned that said the matter has already been clarified by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on May 12 through a press statement.

“Remove all the content that names, refers to, or implies ‘Indian variant’ of coronavirus from your platform immediately,” the IT ministry has directed.

India, one of the biggest markets for digital platforms, has 53 crore WhatsApp users, 44.8 crore YouTube users and 41 crore Facebook users, as per government data. Instagram has 21 crore users in India, while 1.75 crore people are on Twitter.