After more than ten days, the Instagram account of the Indian Army’s Srinagar-based XV Corps, also known as the Chinar Corps, was restored on Wednesday morning. The Facebook handle of the Corps, however, remains blocked but is expected to be restored soon.
Both accounts of the Chinar Corps were banned on January 28 because of, according to officials, a “coordinated campaign”. While there was no specific post that Facebook or Instagram had objected to in their communication, both had said the accounts had been flagged for “coordinated inauthentic behaviour”.
According to the companies, inauthentic behaviour is “defined as the use of Facebook or Instagram assets (accounts, pages, groups or events) to mislead people or Facebook”. However, the Army wrote back to both companies explaining that the accounts had not violated any of the terms.
Both Instagram and Facebook are owned by the same company, Meta Platforms.
The Facebook handle @ChinarCorpsIA had over 24,000 followers and over 23,000 likes, and had the “government organisation” designation. The Instagram account has around 43,300 followers and is named ChinarCorpsIA. There are 2,619 posts on the Instagram handle, and it is following 22 people. It clearly identified itself, saying, “Welcome to the Official Account of Chinar Corps, Indian Army”.
Officials said the handles were blocked on January 28, and that no reason was provided. They also said there was no response from Facebook until Tuesday, even after officials in Delhi wrote to it.
Sources said that sometimes the Army’s social media handles were blocked because of coordinated campaigns possibly from Pakistan, and called it an outcome of information warfare. Similar instances have happened in the past too.
Posts on the official social media handles of the Army are vetted before being put out, officials said, and the handles are careful that nothing objectionable is shared on them.