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After Mass Condemnation, Facebook Unblocks YouTuber & Prominent Modi Critic Dhruv Rathee

For an innocuous post, Rathi's account had been blocked for 30 days, giving rise to speculation that Facebook may be influencing the Indian elections.

Facebook had blocked the account of YouTuber Dhruv Rathee, known for his unabashed criticism of the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, on Sunday.  However, it was unblocked on Monday after Rathee and others pointed out the arbitrariness of the action.  

Sharing the information about the blocking, Rathee had said, “Today, @Facebook banned my account for 30 days. What a coincidence that elections are 30  days away also and what a coincidence that my engagement rates are one of the biggest in India, competing with BJP’s top propaganda pages, including Modi’s official page.” Rathee shared screenshots of Facebook engagement metrics for India, where his page ranks fifth, with close to 3 million people engaging with it.

In another tweet, Rathee had said the reason as cited by Facebook for blocking him was that one of his posts went against “community standards.” In said post, he had shared screenshots of an online encyclopaedia’s pages discussing Hitler’s biography Mein Kampf.

Rathee had added that his account is blocked  despite complete absence of any abusive words or any form of irreverence. “Is educating people about Hitler through Britannica encyclopaedia against FB’s standards?,” he tweeted.

Advocate Karuna Nandy had asked if Facebook was influencing Indian elections by silencing a prominent critic of the ruling party. She also pointed out that Facebook’s community standards and ‘arbitrary takedowns’ are subject to laws

Others on social media had also questioned the move. 

Taking a jibe at the prefix “Chowkidar” that the Prime Minister and BJP leaders have added before their names on their social media accounts, a user tweeted “I never knew it was “Chowkidar Mark Zuckerberg!!”

 Also Read: American Comic Hasan Minhaj Notes the Many Failures of Modi Govt in the New Episode of Patriot Act

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