Tamil Guardian News Outlet deleted Instagram again 12 hours after reactivation


Tamil Guardian, a London-based news site, deactivated its Instagram account again on Friday just 12 hours after being reactivated.

“Our work is crucial and it is silenced”, the point of sale said in a press release.

Tamil Guardian said it posted breaking news after the reactivation of the Instagram account “which garnered thousands of likes in a matter of hours.”

“Within 12 hours of our account being reactivated, Instagram inexplicably turned off the Tamil Guardian page again, without warning or explanation,” they said.

The newspaper claimed it had more than 19,000 followers on Instagram.

The newspaper noted on Friday that it had attempted to contact Facebook (now Meta) and Instagram to understand the problem, but received no explanation for the repeated deactivation of the account and deletion of posts.

Tamil Guardian claimed that its Instagram account was deactivated again 12 hours after it was activated on Friday. Above, an illustration shows the logos of social media apps, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook displayed on an iPhone screen on October 6, 2021, in Paris, France.
Illustration photo by Chesnot / Getty Images

Tamil Guardian pointed out that it published an article revealing that the Sri Lankan regime was trying to silence Tamils ​​online, including their media, as the state jailed journalists and cracked down on free speech.

Although the newspaper has not confirmed whether Facebook has any connection with the Sri Lankan regime in these silencing efforts, it said the platform “will be guilty of colluding with a racist and authoritarian state.”

“We demand urgent and immediate action from Meta and Instagram. This cannot continue,” the Tamil Guardian statement read.

Prior to the second deactivation, the Tamil Guardian account was first deactivated for 48 hours “without warning”.

“Censorship of Tamil voices on these social media platforms must end immediately, however. It has been going on for too long and is suffocating. We demand a full explanation of why this continues to happen and a full review of Facebook’s policies towards the Tamil content of Eelam on its platform, “the outlet said in a statement.

This is totally unacceptable! The APPG for Tamils ​​will make urgent representations to Instagram about this very concerning decision. https://t.co/9dfbEgsg9i

– MP Elliot Colburn (@ElliotColburn) 28 October 2021

The deletion of the Tamil Guardian Instagram account and its posts on the social media platform outraged a number of UK and Canadian officials and politicians who called on Instagram on Thursday to reinstate the newspaper’s account.

Elliot Colburn, Member of the UK Parliament and Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Tamils called the ban “completely unacceptable.” Sam Tarry, Member of Parliament for Ilford South, expressed concern about online censorship and added that the Tamil Guardian has a role to play in denouncing “the injustice inflicted on the Tamil people”.

“This is an extremely disturbing act of online censorship. The Tamil Guardian has played a central role in exposing the injustices inflicted on the #tamul people in Sri Lanka and giving a voice to the oppressed. I call Facebook and Instagram to reverse this decision, ” Tarry tweeted Thursday.

Patrick Brown, the mayor of Brampton, Canada, called the deletion of the Instagram account “outrageous” and demanded that it be “immediately” restored.

Tamil Guardian has claimed it was previously censored on Facebook and Instagram when some of its posts were deleted in recent years “for allegedly violating Facebook community guidelines.”

News week contacted Meta for comment.

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