Elon Musk Pleads Ignorance on Twitter Censoring BBC India Doc

January 26, 2023 at 03:09

Elon Musk plead ignorance when asked about a report that Twitter censored a BBC documentary because of demands from India’s government.

The Intercept reported Wednesday that Twitter, which is owned by Musk, and YouTube, which is owned by Google, “censored a report critical of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in coordination with the government of India.”

The documentary examined the 2002 massacre in the western Indian state of Gujarat, where at the time Modi served as chief minister. Indian officials have attacked the documentary as “hostile propaganda.”

The Intercept reported that Kanchan Gupta, a top official at India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, revealed that Twitter and YouTube complied with demands to remove the documentary from their platforms.

When Musk — who bought Twitter last year and pledged to reinvent it as a free speech haven — was asked about Twitter caving to the demands of the Indian government, he said he had not heard of the removal.

“First I’ve heard. It is not possible for me to fix every aspect of Twitter worldwide overnight, while still running Tesla and SpaceX, among other things,” he said.

First I’ve heard. It is not possible for me to fix every aspect of Twitter worldwide overnight, while still running Tesla and SpaceX, among other things. — Mr. Tweet (@elonmusk) January 25, 2023

The BBC has defended the documentary from the attacks of Modi supporters.

“The BBC is committed to highlighting important issues from around the world,” a spokesman for the broadcaster told Variety. “The documentary series examines the tensions between India’s Hindu majority and Muslim minority and explores the politics of India’s PM Narendra Modi in relation to those tensions. This has been the source of considerable reporting and interest both in India and across the world in recent years.”

“The documentary was rigorously researched according to highest editorial standards. A wide range of voices, witnesses and experts were approached, and we have featured a range of opinions – this includes responses from people in the BJP [India’s ruling party]. We offered the Indian Government a right to reply to the matters raised in the series – it declined to respond,” they said.

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