Facebook on Sunday evening resorted the Facebook page of 'Kisan Ekta Morcha,' which had been taken down earlier in the day.
Facebook had on Sunday briefly removed the account of Kisan Ekta Morcha where farmers’ groups had been posting updates of their ongoing agitation against the Centre’s new agri-marketing laws.
A screenshot tweeted by the group showed the page was removed by Facebook citing “community standards on spam”. The page had more than 7 lakh followers. According to the protesting unions, the account was removed shortly after Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav announced in a live video that farmers will hold a relay hunger strike on Monday.
This is what they can do when people raise their voices.......When they can't beat us ideologically.......#DigitalKisan #SuppressingTheVoiceOfDissent pic.twitter.com/foK6k5zzM3— Kisan Ekta Morcha (@Kisanektamorcha) December 20, 2020
Following the news, several people on Twitter protested the move by Facebook, calling it an effective shutdown to farmer voices.
According to Facebook India, Bajrang Dal posts calling for violence against Muslims is "Freedom of Speech" but @Kisanektamorcha 's posts calling for unity and integrity of Indians is #TooMuchDemocracy.Welcome to the new India!#ShameOnFacebook pic.twitter.com/q7qrCvFBMx— Ankit Mayank (@mr_mayank) December 20, 2020
Really @Facebook ! 👇🏽You unpublished the Facebook page of @Kisanektamorcha peaceful protest #ShameOnYou #TooMuchDemocracy #DigitalKissan pic.twitter.com/qcdoTbbn4c— Ami Verma #ProudPunjabi #IStandWithFarmers #Desi (@theamiverma) December 20, 2020
At the time of writing this, the page has been restored.
Tens of thousands of farmers have blocked roads leading into New Delhi for the past three weeks demanding a repeal of laws that give them the option to sell directly to private companies. The government says the change is necessary to boost farm returns and improve storage and other infrastructure. But the farmers, mainly from the northern agrarian states of Punjab and Haryana, fear private companies would eventually dictate terms and the government would stop buying grains like wheat and rice from them at a minimum guaranteed price.
After a series of previous meetings with ministers, the protesters have said that nothing short of an official annulment of the three laws will be enough to change their position.