Mumbai, May 21:
The Maharashtra Cyber police has taken into custody nearly 213 people in 400 odd cases of misuse of social media, including offensive WhatsApp messages, sharing abusive Facebook posts and has removed 102 objectionable posts.
The cases include : 170 cases of forwarding offensive WhatsApp messages, 158 of sharing abusive Facebook posts and posting religious messages related to Coronavirus and spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh’s directions to the Special Inspector General of Police, the Cyber Cell, has decided to take strict action against cybercriminals, in a bid to curb the spread of rumours and misinformation on social media. The Cyber police has began stringent action against offenders, by serving notices under section 149 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to the culprits.
The state’s cyber cell is now keeping a close watch on controversial videos on Tiktok, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Till first May, the cell has registered at least 400 offences at various police stations across the state amid the COVID-19 lockdown. They include 18 offences related to Tik Tok video shares, 07 offences related to objectionable tweets, 04 offences related to wrong Instagram posts and 43 offences related to misuse of audio clips/ You Tube, Deshmukh said and added that women’s safety would be given the top priority.
The crimes include making Tik-Tok videos, posting various provocative posts on social media, spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, taking names of Coronavirus victims besides posting false posters to defame political leaders.
Offences like slander, personal attack, online financial fraud are included in cyber crimes. The alleged offender can be prosecuted under the Indian Penal Code 1860, Information Technology Act 2008, besides other laws. To prevent such crimes, strict action is taken also under section 149 of the CrPC 1973 by sending individual notices to offenders.
Warning the companies running Tik-Tok, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms in India, Deshmukh has directed them to immediately remove misleading and socially divisive content from their platforms.
Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]
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