oppn parties Hate Posts on Social Media: Bengal Takes Welcome Action

News Snippets

  • Amit Shah says the government will identify and deport illegal immigrants from all parts of the country
  • Reports from Pakistan confirm that Hafiz Saeed has been arrested and sent to jail
  • After the SC order, Karnataka Speaker says he will go by the Constitution in deciding on the resignations of the 16 MLAs
  • Rebel MLAs say they will not attend the trust vote on Thursday
  • Supreme Court rules that rebel MLAs cannot be forced to attend the assembly and vote in the floor test
  • Both the Centre and the Assam government have sought re-verification of up to 20% of draft NRC data
  • Pakistan opens its airspace for Indian planes
  • Dilapidated building collapses in Mumbai, killing more than 10 people while many were still trapped
  • Kulbhushan Jadhav case verdict to be delivered today by the ICJ
  • A Vistara flight landed in Lucknow with just 5 to 10 minutes of fuel left in the tank
  • Supreme Court to decide on Karnataka MLAs plea today
  • Karnataka alliance to face floor test on Thursday
  • China says that the next Dalai Lama will be appointed by it
  • Pakistan assures India that no anti-India activity would be allowed in the Kartarpur corridor
  • Pakistan to allow visa-free access to 5000 pilgrims every day to undertake pilgrimage using the Kartarpur corridor
ISRO calls-off Chandrayaan-2 mission launch at last moment due to technical snags. revised date will be announced later
oppn parties
Hate Posts on Social Media: Bengal Takes Welcome Action

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The West Bengal government has asked the DGP and directed the cyber cells of the Kolkata and state police to crack down upon miscreants who are spreading rumours and are otherwise uploading hate posts on social media. This is a step in the right direction, if implemented properly.

One says this because often in the past, governments are known to take unkindly to criticisms of their own policies and actions and have brutally cracked down upon innocent bloggers who just express their honest opinions. The Bengal governmentÂ’s track record on this score is not unblemished for in the past it had arrested a professor for forwarding a cartoon lampooning the chief minister Mamata Banerjee. If it happens this time too, it would be an attack on the freedom of speech and hence unfortunate.

Having said this, it also needs to be reiterated that social media has become the hotbed of misinformation and hate posts, mischievous and slanted to achieve nefarious objectives. While most of the posts are forwarded by receivers without any malicious intent, the origin of these hate posts need to be traced as that is where the mischief is being generated. Hence, in any police investigation, care needs to be taken in not shooting the postman. The Bengal police have detected a pattern in these posts and traced them to a few people. This suggests that this is the handiwork of habitual pamphleteers and needs to be traved and eliminated.

In the past, police investigations have hit roadblocks as many IP addresses from where these hate posts originate are found to be in foreign countries. Still, since Facebook and Twitter are mostly used for such damaging posts, the police have streamlined regulatory information exchange mechanism with these companies. It is good that the police and the government have woken up to the fact that slanted and engineered posts on social media have the potential of starting conflicts between communities.

But in a state where the Imam of a mosque gets away with issuing a highly objectionable fatwa against the prime minister of the country, that too in the presence of a leader of the ruling party, such a crack down on social media posts will seem one-sided. The government should also crack down on all shades of people, regardless of their religious affiliation, for making inflammatory remarks on dignitaries. Political differences should not come in the way of booking a person for such objectionable remarks or fatwas.