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

News Snippets

  • 16 killed as the vehicle they were traveling in plunged into a deep gorge near Jammu
  • Vodafone CEO seeks government relief, saying India operations on the verge of collapse
  • Three teenagers killed in a major accident in Kolkata's New Town area when their Honda City rammed into a road divider and a Metro pillar. The car was mangled
  • Vishwa Hindu Parishad not to publicly 'celebrate' Babri Masjid demolition day this year, all events will be closed door
  • JNU students march against the steep hike in fees, keep HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal stuck at the venue of the convocation
  • USFDA says Cytotron, an anti-cancer kit developed by Bengaluru based Rajah Vijay Kumar, is a "breakthrough device" for treating liver, pancreatic and breast cancers
  • Car sales show a minuscule uptrend after declining continuously for 11 months
  • Industrial output contracts by 4.3% in September, the worst decline in 8 years
  • Centre defends abrogation of Article 370 in the Supreme Court, says the power under it was used by the President six times previously
  • Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar admitted to hospital with lung infection, put on ventilator
  • Shiv Sena MP Arvind Sawant quits as Union Minister
  • National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met the leaders of both Hindus and Muslims in Delhi on Sunday to ensure peace and harmony is maintained after the Ayodhya verdict
  • Tipu Jayanti passes off peacefully in Karnataka
  • 10 dead as Cyclone Bulbul leaves destruction in its wake in West Bengal
  • Shefali Verma breaks Sachin's 30-year old record by scoring an international fifty at 15 years and 285 days
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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.