Popular Political Youtuber Dhruv Rathee Banned by Facebook For a Month

Indian political YouTuber Dhruv Rathee

Caravan News

NEW DELHI- A leading Indian political YouTuber Dhruv Rathee, who is a strong critic of Narendra Modi government, says he has been banned from posting to Facebook during the crucial month leading up to the country’s general election.

Rathee, a YouTube creator who makes videos analyzing political issues, tweeted today (March 18) that Facebook has banned him from posting for 30 days. The first phase of India’s election falls on April 11.

Facebook, according to Rathee, said one of his posts had violated its community standards. The post in question, of which he tweeted a screenshot, simply consisted of pages from a biography of Adolf Hitler.

Rathee, who has 1.7 million YouTube subscribers and over 550,000 followers on his Facebook page, often makes videos critical of prime minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). One of his most popular videos is an interview with a former insider of the BJP’s “IT Cell,” the social-media team that has come under fire in recent years for sharing propaganda and misinformation more effectively than other parties have.

Facebook’s ban on Rathee raises questions about the social networking site’s power to censor political speech, an ability that could have critical consequences especially around election time. Facebook has frequently been accused of allowing to publish hate-filled and violent contents on its platform and removing contents critical to the ruling party BJP. Analysts are accusing that as the general elections are closing in, the giant social media platform is becoming partisan which can affect electoral outcomes.


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