- Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are being used to seek help.
- Scores of Twitter users from across the country are asking for oxygen concentrators, hospital beds.
- Singh has shared a screenshot of a user whose account was restricted because she posted the number of the patient.
As India is grappling with the second wave of COVID-19, social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are being used to seek help. There is an acute shortage of oxygen and ventilator beds in some major cities including Delhi and that is adding on to the misery of the people suffering from the virus. Meanwhile, Twitter has turned out to be a savior for many users who have asked for help on the platform.
Scores of Twitter users from across the country are asking for oxygen concentrators, hospital beds and other things related to COVID on the micro-blogging platform. Several NGOs and individuals are using Twitter to reach out to the people who are struggling to find beds in and around the cities. The social media influencers and several Bollywood celebrities are amplifying tweets of people who are looking for oxygen cylinders, concentrators and more.
Meanwhile, TV actor Sushant Singh reported that Twitter is restricting the accounts of some users who have shared the phone numbers of the patients looking for oxygen cylinders and their attendants. Sharing the screenshots, he wrote, "Dear @Twitter @TwitterIndia @jackyour platform is helping us save many lives right now. Thank you. But you need to tweak your AI to not restrict accounts because they've shared someone's phone number. It's the need of the hour, your adverse action might cost someone's life."
Singh has shared a screenshot of a user whose account was restricted because she posted the number of the patient. Twitter notified the user that some of her account features will be restricted because the account has violated Twitter rules. "You may not publish or post other people's private information without their express authorization and permission," the notice from Twitter reads. The user had shared an SOS post of the person seeking an ICU bed in Gurgaon. The post had also displayed the phone number of the patent's attendant.
Twitter limited the account of the user which means that now the user can only send direct messages to her followers but cannot post any tweet, retweet, or like a tweet. The company had informed the user that her account would be restored within 12 hours. A lot of the other users have reported getting similar messages.
As per Twitter's policies, users cannot publish or post other people's private information without their express authorization and permission. Twitter in its FAQ page states that it considers multiple things before restricting someone's account, but the above case seems to be an AI error.
We reached out to Twitter for a comment and the story will be updated as soon as we hear from them.