India’s Critical Voices Face Increased Censorship | Tech Breakdown Episode 9

In this Indian elections special panel, our journalist Manasa Narayanan sits down with Meghnad S, Saurav Das, Dr Ritumbra Manuvie and Archis Chowdhury to discuss the present realities of India’s information ecosystem, specifically the digital space.

From the latest move to demonetise YouTube videos of certain creators, abuse of information laws to take down whole channels, flooding of digital space with pro-BJP shadow advertisements, to making use of politician friendly influencers and shutting out critical voices, they speak about the increasing digital censorship and control India is experiencing at the hands of the Indian government, specifically in the run up unto 2024 nationals elections, aided and enabled by US-based social media platforms. They also talk about hate and disinformation spread via WhatsApp and other messaging apps, and what we have seen of deepfakes so far.

Meghnad is a YouTuber and journalist, and author of the book Parliamental. Saurav Das is an independent investigative journalist, who covers legal affairs and public policy, and writes a lot for the Indian outlet Article 14 among others. Dr Ritumbra Manuvie is a Professor of Law at the University of Groningen, and she also co-founded The London Story, which is a nonprofit that researches hate and disinformation online. Archis Chowdhury is a senior correspondent with BOOM Live, an independent digital journalism initiative and fact-checking website.

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