India Hate Lab (IHL)

Index on Censorship: India’s hate speech trackers are being blocked

The website of India Hate Lab, another initiative by Naik that is exclusively dedicated to tracking hate speech in India, has also been rendered inaccessible in the country.

Various law enforcement agencies have frequently attempted to erase Hindutva Watch and India Hate Lab’s documentation of hate crime and speech towards minorities, primarily on the pretext of violating India’s controversial Information Technology (IT) Act 2000, though the government never clarified which specific laws were violated by the two websites.

The IT Act grants authorities the power to block access to information under the guise of safeguarding India’s “sovereignty, integrity, and security”. In 2022, the country’s Supreme Court invalidated a provision of the Act which empowered the government to prosecute individuals for sharing “offensive” messages online. Various governments, irrespective of political affiliations, had misused the provision to detain ordinary civilians critical of the government.

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