UP issues advisory to curb fake news, hate content on social media

Topics Social Media

WhatsApp, Facebook, fake news
Even as the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests continue unabated across the country, the Uttar Pradesh government has issued a set of guidelines for promoting ‘safe’ usage of the social media by citizens and students alike.

The advisory is aimed at curbing fake news and spread of inflammatory content on various social media platforms, such as Facebook, WhatssApp, Twitter etc.

The guidelines have been circulated by UP additional chief secretary (IT and electronics) Alok Sinha among all the departmental heads of the state government, apart from the divisional commissioner and district magistrates for launching awareness campaigns in this regard.

The directive referred to an advisory by the cyber law group under the union ministry of electronics and IT last year on this subject.

Meanwhile, the state ‘dos and donts’ underlined that social media posts should respect the sentiments of others and not be seen as against any community, citizen, organisation or government.

The note mentioned it was not necessary to react to every social media post, while advising people to refrain from fake news and propaganda having propensity to promote hatred.

It advised people not to disclose their user ID and password to others, and choose a strong password to protect against possible hacking. The advisory asked people to report with proper documentation to the cyber media agency in case of any cyber attack or cyber security breach.

Besides, it also asked people against sharing such social media content, which does not conform to the laid down norms.

In the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, UP Police, touted as the world’s largest single command armed police force, had advised cops to exercise restraint over social media activities. In his directive, UP Director General of Police (DGP) O P Singh had said uniformed cops should not to be perceived as favouring a particular political party or candidate through their social media updates.

In his advisory, the UP cops were asked not to accept gifts from any political party or candidate in light of the model code of conduct. Besides, the policemen were directed to desist from posting politically coloured social media updates as well for the sake of being impartial and non-partisan during the election process.

In June 2019, the state basic education department had warned officials and teachers of action if they were found guilty of posting any objectionable content.

In October 2018, DGP Singh had issued a 17 point charter for cops seeking to censure such social media activities, which could potentially earn disrepute to UP Police or be deemed indiscipline. At that time, the UP Police, had been facing disenchantment among a section of constabulary over the sacking of two constables, who were accused of killing a senior mobile phone company executive Vivek Tiwari in Lucknow.

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