Bengal cops fight fake news

The West Bengal police have got more than 500 posts removed from social media platforms in the past four days that were allegedly spreading fake news related to the post-poll violence in Bengal and “Hindu genocide in Bengal”, reports The Times of India.

Details: Bengal’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) got Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to take down around 300 posts, while the Kolkata police claimed on Sunday that it had flagged and got the platforms to take down 200 others. Many posts that claimed to show the violence in Bengal included photos of violent clashes in Brazil, Venezuela and Bangladesh.

Last week, Twitter permanently suspended the account of Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut for repeatedly violating its rules on hateful and abusive behaviour after she called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to adopt his “virat roop” from “early 2000s” in Bengal.

  • “We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behaviour that has the potential to lead to offline harm,” a Twitter spokesperson said.

Govt’s censorship of social media: Meanwhile, the government has been busy censoring its critics on social media. In April, the government directed Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and others to block over 100 posts that criticised its handling of the pandemic.

Separately, Twitter also censored around 50 tweets allegedly criticising the government’s handling of the pandemic on MeitY’s instructions last month.

Facebook was recently found to be blocking posts with the hashtag “ResignModi” but restored them a few hours later and claimed they were blocked “by mistake”.

In February, the government ordered Twitter to block around 1,400 handles for allegedly fanning the farmer protests.

Fake news: Rohingiyas shouting Pakistan Zindabad after TMC winning West Bengal Assembly Elections.

Twitter suspended more than 500 of these accounts for violating its rules but said it would not take any action on accounts of news media entities, journalists, activists, and politicians as that would violate their “fundamental right to free expression under Indian law”.

Economic Times

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