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Rule of Law Politics

Rajasthan Police is now busting fake news on social media

Sabrangindia 19 Dec 2018

In a tweet from 25 June, Rajasthan Police announced that they will be starting a series on #FakeNews, and urged people to be wary of "news, stories or hoaxes which mislead you into believing the facts which are not true" and that "often social media become easy carriers for spreading falsehood & distortion.”


Rajasthan Police
Representation Image
 
Jaipur: It may come as a surprise to many but Rajasthan police is acting on fake news and communally charged social media messages. In a recent tweet on Dec 18, it busted fake news which was trying to incite communal violence.



The video was apparently from Jharkhand but was shown as an area in Rajasthan where Muslims were entering Rajput homes and attacking people. Rajasthan police stepped up and acted against the twitter handle.
 
Rajasthan police’s asked Twitter user @Ashok6510 to delete his tweet, who had tweeted a video of a brawl with the caption – “Muslim workers entered houses of Rajputs in Utambar, assaulted the daughters and sisters and attacked their homes. If the state is such in 5 hours, what will be the torture in 5 years.” In the last sentence, he hinted at Congress’s victory in the recent Rajasthan elections.
 
It may seem oddly timed and many will question why is Rajasthan Police only now taking action over fake news online, especially since a number of mob lynchings have rocked the state in the recent past, besides organisations like Karni Sena attacking school buses and warning of more violence over a movie release.
 
Rajasthan Police has made fake news an agenda as early as June this year. Some of their first tweets on the issue tagged the twitter handle @SMHoaxSlayer which is known to bust fake news in India.


 

 

In a tweet from 25 June, Rajasthan Police announced that they will be starting a series on #FakeNews, and urged people to be wary of "news, stories or hoaxes which mislead you into believing the facts which are not true" and that "often social media become easy carriers for spreading falsehood & distortion.”


 
The tweet also gives users tips on how to spot fake news by urging citizens to check if the source is credible, to read beyond the headline, to check the author, to check the date of the story and finally to consult experts before forming an opinion or taking any decision.
 
It also verified information that was attributed to them but was false. In a tweet, it busted another WhatsApp that claimed that medical students coming to collect blood at the doorstep were from terrorist organisations spreading AIDS virus and that this information was circulated by Rajasthan Police. The official twitter handle of the police denied this.


 
“Results of the recent assembly elections have given rise to misinformation claiming violence in states where Congress came out victorious. Recently, a video from Gujarat was shared as an incident of rioting after the party won in Rajasthan. Many other such false claims (12) suggested Pakistani flags and pro-Pakistan slogans were raised at Congress rallies. While Rajasthan police have been trying to prevent the spread of misinformation, OpIndia came out in support of a handle circulating fake news. The cycle of disinformation gains further momentum when media outlets themselves attempt to discredit the truth,” Altnews reported.
 
Data compiled by the central ministry of home affairs show 45 people have been killed in 40 cases of mob lynchings across nine states between 2014 and March 3, 2018. The figures have gone up since then.
 
It is commendable that the police are being proactive on social media as most mob lynchings in the country in the last few years had a similar pattern of fake social media messages and WhatsApp forwards. Many innocent people were killed by angry mobs who suspected them of being child lifters.
 
Between January 1, 2017, and July 5, 2018, 33 people were killed and at least 99 injured in 69 reported cases. In the first six days of July alone, there have been nine cases of mob violence over child lifting rumours and five deaths, which amounts to more than one attack recorded every day. There was only one such attack in 2012. Most of the people were killed because of fake video forwards on WhatsApp.
 
Maharashtra police said that around 250 Twitter handles were created to spread misinformation about the Bhima-Koregaon violence and to mobilise support for allegedly holding demonstrations abroad to defame the Modi government.
 
WhatsApp has started rolling the five-chat limit for forwards in India. It had announced this move back in July in order to help check the spread of fake news and misinformation on the platform. The Facebook-owned messaging app will restrict the number of forwards to 20 chats across the globe but in India, it is testing a lower limit of 5 chats. According to news agency IANS, WhatsApp confirmed that it has begun rolling out its forward message limit in India, which is its biggest market at 200 million users. The ruling government has also asked WhatsApp to do away with end-to-end encryption to keep tabs on what people are sharing but the app hasn’t complied.
 
The request for traceability came from India’s Ministry of Electronics & IT to trace false information to its source. The Ministry said Facebook-owned WhatsApp would face legal actions if it failed to deliver.
 
Read Also:
Lynch Mobs: What WhatsApp Will Not Do and BJP Won’t Ask
Child-Lifting Rumours: 33 Killed In 69 Mob Attacks Since Jan 2017. Before That Only 1 Attack In 2012
 

Rajasthan Police is now busting fake news on social media

In a tweet from 25 June, Rajasthan Police announced that they will be starting a series on #FakeNews, and urged people to be wary of "news, stories or hoaxes which mislead you into believing the facts which are not true" and that "often social media become easy carriers for spreading falsehood & distortion.”


Rajasthan Police
Representation Image
 
Jaipur: It may come as a surprise to many but Rajasthan police is acting on fake news and communally charged social media messages. In a recent tweet on Dec 18, it busted fake news which was trying to incite communal violence.



The video was apparently from Jharkhand but was shown as an area in Rajasthan where Muslims were entering Rajput homes and attacking people. Rajasthan police stepped up and acted against the twitter handle.
 
Rajasthan police’s asked Twitter user @Ashok6510 to delete his tweet, who had tweeted a video of a brawl with the caption – “Muslim workers entered houses of Rajputs in Utambar, assaulted the daughters and sisters and attacked their homes. If the state is such in 5 hours, what will be the torture in 5 years.” In the last sentence, he hinted at Congress’s victory in the recent Rajasthan elections.
 
It may seem oddly timed and many will question why is Rajasthan Police only now taking action over fake news online, especially since a number of mob lynchings have rocked the state in the recent past, besides organisations like Karni Sena attacking school buses and warning of more violence over a movie release.
 
Rajasthan Police has made fake news an agenda as early as June this year. Some of their first tweets on the issue tagged the twitter handle @SMHoaxSlayer which is known to bust fake news in India.


 

 

In a tweet from 25 June, Rajasthan Police announced that they will be starting a series on #FakeNews, and urged people to be wary of "news, stories or hoaxes which mislead you into believing the facts which are not true" and that "often social media become easy carriers for spreading falsehood & distortion.”


 
The tweet also gives users tips on how to spot fake news by urging citizens to check if the source is credible, to read beyond the headline, to check the author, to check the date of the story and finally to consult experts before forming an opinion or taking any decision.
 
It also verified information that was attributed to them but was false. In a tweet, it busted another WhatsApp that claimed that medical students coming to collect blood at the doorstep were from terrorist organisations spreading AIDS virus and that this information was circulated by Rajasthan Police. The official twitter handle of the police denied this.


 
“Results of the recent assembly elections have given rise to misinformation claiming violence in states where Congress came out victorious. Recently, a video from Gujarat was shared as an incident of rioting after the party won in Rajasthan. Many other such false claims (12) suggested Pakistani flags and pro-Pakistan slogans were raised at Congress rallies. While Rajasthan police have been trying to prevent the spread of misinformation, OpIndia came out in support of a handle circulating fake news. The cycle of disinformation gains further momentum when media outlets themselves attempt to discredit the truth,” Altnews reported.
 
Data compiled by the central ministry of home affairs show 45 people have been killed in 40 cases of mob lynchings across nine states between 2014 and March 3, 2018. The figures have gone up since then.
 
It is commendable that the police are being proactive on social media as most mob lynchings in the country in the last few years had a similar pattern of fake social media messages and WhatsApp forwards. Many innocent people were killed by angry mobs who suspected them of being child lifters.
 
Between January 1, 2017, and July 5, 2018, 33 people were killed and at least 99 injured in 69 reported cases. In the first six days of July alone, there have been nine cases of mob violence over child lifting rumours and five deaths, which amounts to more than one attack recorded every day. There was only one such attack in 2012. Most of the people were killed because of fake video forwards on WhatsApp.
 
Maharashtra police said that around 250 Twitter handles were created to spread misinformation about the Bhima-Koregaon violence and to mobilise support for allegedly holding demonstrations abroad to defame the Modi government.
 
WhatsApp has started rolling the five-chat limit for forwards in India. It had announced this move back in July in order to help check the spread of fake news and misinformation on the platform. The Facebook-owned messaging app will restrict the number of forwards to 20 chats across the globe but in India, it is testing a lower limit of 5 chats. According to news agency IANS, WhatsApp confirmed that it has begun rolling out its forward message limit in India, which is its biggest market at 200 million users. The ruling government has also asked WhatsApp to do away with end-to-end encryption to keep tabs on what people are sharing but the app hasn’t complied.
 
The request for traceability came from India’s Ministry of Electronics & IT to trace false information to its source. The Ministry said Facebook-owned WhatsApp would face legal actions if it failed to deliver.
 
Read Also:
Lynch Mobs: What WhatsApp Will Not Do and BJP Won’t Ask
Child-Lifting Rumours: 33 Killed In 69 Mob Attacks Since Jan 2017. Before That Only 1 Attack In 2012
 

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