ITANAGAR, Jun 4: The state police have issued advisories to WhatsApp and Facebook users and group administrators regarding dos and don’ts amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking to the press here on Thursday, SIT SP Navdeep Singh Brar informed that the advisories have been issued in order to tackle rising cases of circulation of fake news about Covid-19 in the state.
“We are witnessing growing cases of rumour-mongering and circulation of fake news through WhatsApp and Facebook which can lead to breakdown of law and order and also clash among the people. To tackle this we have issued advisories for the social media users,” he said.
Informing that the advisories contain dos and don’ts, the SP said those who flout the advisories would be held accountable.
“The WhatsApp and Facebook group admins will also be held responsible along with the person who posts or circulates fake news, as per the IT and the DM Acts. One case has already been lodged against a person for circulating fake news,” Brar said.
He urged the people to report to the police if they find anyone circulating fake news.
“The police are also monitoring, but we appeal to the people to report to us if they find anyone circulating fake news or indulging in rumour mongering. People can report to the nearest police station, visit the APP website, or contact us through the Twitter handle of the DGP and also the FB page of the state police,” he said.
The SP made it clear that the police would take up suo moto cases even if people do not complain.
Dos and don’ts for users:
- Do not post fake news, hate speech or misinformation in groups.
- Do not forward or circulate any such news you get from other members of the group.
- Immediately delete any post if you find it objectionable or the admin notified you.
- Check the source and veracity of any news, image, etc, you receive, before posting it in the group.
- If you find any piece of misinformation, fake news or hate speech, report it on www.cybercrime.gov.in or to your nearest police station, and also inform your group admin immediately.
- Never share any content that is violent, pornographic and discriminative against any religion/community.
Dos and don’ts for administrators:
- Ensure that every group member is reliable and responsible enough to share only verified news.
- Inform all the group members about the rules of posting in the group.
- Warn all the members and prevent them from sharing objectionable content.
- Actively and regularly monitor content that is being shared in the group.
- It is advisable that if the group is uncontrollable, then the group settings can be changed to only where admins have the right to post.
- Inform the police if any member resorts to mischief and shares objectionable content.