Hafta 279: George Floyd, content moderation on social media, bigotry at home, and more
In this episode of NL Hafta, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri, Anand Vardhan, Mehraj D Lone and Manisha Pande are joined by Emily Schmall, South Asia correspondent for the Associated Press.
The panel discusses the murder of George Floyd and the protests that followed. “Polls show that most Americans are in favour of these protests,” Emily says. “You can get a sense of that by seeing how corporate America has responded.” The panel also compares the reaction of Indian celebrities to police brutality in the US to their silence when it comes to similar incidents in India.
Anand talks about migrant workers returning to Bihar, even as Covid-19 cases climb in the state. He says the condition of Bihar’s quarantine centres “has not been consistent” and is “largely bad”. Abhinandan is pessimistic about the spread of Covid-19 in India, saying: “I don’t think we will be able to flatten the curve. I think India should be ready for a steep rise until a cure or a vaccine or herd immunity happens.” The group discusses India’s comparatively low mortality rate, and Mehraj suggests that one should be sceptical of official data.
The discussion shifts to the role of social media platforms in publishing and moderating content. Mehraj says that Twitter’s recent fact-checking of Donald Trump was “not out of the goodness of their heart”, pointing out that the organisation gave blue ticks to “rabid bigots and Islamophobes”. Manisha argues that Twitter’s decision was not very smart because “fundamentally, there is a difference between a platform and a publisher.” She adds that if you want to be a publisher, you had “better face the music that publishers face”.
The panel also discusses the possible opening of religious places, tackling bigotry at home, subscription models of journalism, principles of equality in Indian politics, and Indian conservatism.
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