Govt asks social media firms to remove contents referring to SARS-CoV-2’s ‘Indian variant’


PTI, May 22, 2021, 9:14 AM IST

New Delhi: The government has asked social media companies to immediately remove any content from their platform that uses or refers to the term ‘Indian variant’ of the novel coronavirus, to curb misinformation around COVID-19, sources said Friday.

According to sources, the IT Ministry has written to all social media platforms asserting that the World Health Organization (WHO) has not associated the term ”Indian Variant” with the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus in any of its reports.

The sources said that a notice has been issued in this regard on Friday by the IT Ministry, which states that a false statement is being circulated online that implies that an ”Indian variant” of the novel coronavirus is spreading across countries.

The sources said the matter has already been clarified by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on May 12 through a press release.

They added that social media platforms have been asked to ”remove all the content that names, refers to, or implies ‘Indian variant’ of the novel coronavirus from your platform immediately.”

Previously, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology had issued advisories regarding curbing false news/misinformation concerning novel coronavirus on social media platforms.

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