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

News Snippets

  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
  • Searching for Rajeev Kumar, ex-CP, Kolkata Police, the CBI approaches state DGP to know about his whereabouts
  • Ferry overturns in the river Godavari in Andhra. 46 feared dead
  • Supreme Court to hear pleas on Jammu & Kashmir today
  • Ghulam Nabi Azad moves Supreme Court for ordering the government to allow him to visit his family in J&K
  • GST Council meeting to focus on leakages and evasions, expected to tighten processes, especially regarding input tax credit
  • Finance minister, citing figures for July 2019, says that industrial production and fixed investment is showing signs of revival
  • Amit Shah's comment on Hindi as the unifying language draws the ire of MK Stalin and Siddaramaiah. Stalin says the country is India not Hindia
  • On Hindi Diwas today, Amit Shah says use of mother language must be increased but Hindi should be adopted as the common language of the country
  • Pakistan raises white flag on LoC to claim bodies of dead soldiers
  • India beat Bangladesh by 5 runs to lift the U-19 Asia Cup
  • A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court will examine the amendments to the SC/ST act made after an apex court order that 'diluted' the provisions and which were reinstatd by the amendment
  • Delhi government decides to re-implement the odd-even system of traffic management from November 4 to 15
  • UP to discontinue law that allows the state government to pay the income tax dues of ministers
  • Anand Sharma of the Congress to replace P Chidambaram on the parliamentary committee on home affairs
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
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.