Twitter and Facebook let quack Covid remedies run unchecked in India – The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
“[They then] deal with upset stomach, nausea and some exacerbation of peptic acid disease. He added: “And of course, if they drink too much of it, it can affect, in the long run, their kidney and liver function.”
The inability of Facebook and Twitter to take action against fake Hindi news also raises questions about the business relationship with the Indian government, which both woos and threatens them. Facebook in particular has been widely criticized for being viewed as unduly lenient in hate speech posted by members of the ruling BJP.
Twitter angered the government when it reversed its decision to block accounts tweeting about farmers’ protests near the capital at the request of authorities earlier this year. In late May, Delhi police showed up at local Twitter offices to say they were investigating the company for labeling a BJP spokesperson’s tweet as containing manipulated media.
The long Indian history of Ayurvedic treatments, which is often touted as a superior and more patriotic alternative to modern medicine, further complicates the picture. This has led to the sale of Ayurvedic formulations claiming to prevent and cure Covid-19. About 10,000 people turned up for the sale of an Ayurvedic “miracle cure” for the virus in Andhra Pradesh in mid-May, creating a “virtual leak” according to the report. India time.
The combined influence of these two local factors for pandemic disinformation in India is illustrated by Baba Ramdev. The barefoot yogi in a saffron robe is not the typical face of a billionaire business. But it has become an essential image; broadcast on TV for daily morning and evening yoga routines, smiling from billboards across India, selling a throwback to ancient Hindu ways – via its products.
Ramdev’s medicine and consumer goods empire, Patanjali Ayurved, sells everything from food and cleaning products to Ayurvedic medicine at over 47,000 retail outlets and one online store. His combination of Hindu spirituality and big business proved well suited to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom he supported on stage in 2014 before the BJP’s election victory. Patanjali has since acquired more than $ 46 million in remittances for land acquisitions in states controlled by the BJP, according to Reuters. At the inauguration of a research institute in Patanjali in 2017, Modi said, “Baba Ramdev will take Ayurveda and inspire the world.