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Saturday, Dec 07, 2019

UP Police asks social media cells to mount vigil ahead of Ayodhya verdict

The primary objective was to remove objectionable and inflammable contents being made viral of social media before it could disrupt harmony and cause any law and order problem and ensure stern action against people involved in spreading rumours and sharing objectionable content.

lucknow Updated: Nov 09, 2019 06:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Police officials saidhey were even asked to initiate action against WhatsApp group admin if any objectionable thing was shared on it.
Police officials saidhey were even asked to initiate action against WhatsApp group admin if any objectionable thing was shared on it.(REUTERS)
         

Ahead of the Supreme Court verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit, social media monitoring cell of the UP Police headquarters on Friday rolled down advisory for its district level cells to be prepared for vigilance on objectionable posts on a war footing.

Inspector general of police (law and order) Praveen Kumar issued the advisory while holding a videoconference with the district level social media monitoring cells. He said the monitoring cells were asked to make a list of regular offenders and initiate stern action against them. He also said they were even asked to initiate action against WhatsApp group admin if any objectionable thing was shared on it.

He said a WhatsApp number 8874327341 was also issued on which any person could complaint about objectionable and inflammatory posts by sharing its screenshots. “We have already listed down nearly 300 social media accounts and pages and closely keeping tabs on its posts and comments,” he said.

“The social media cell, state intelligence unit and a special team of 40 people are keeping a watch on social media trends and analysing them round the clock,” the IG (law and order) added.

Sharing further details, SP of UP police headquarters social media cell, Mohammad Imran, said there were two objectives of rolling out the advisory. He said the primary one was to remove objectionable and inflammable contents being made viral of social media before it could disrupt harmony and cause any law and order problem and ensure stern action against people involved in spreading rumours and sharing objectionable content.

The SP said the second objective was to make district level monitoring cells aware of saving archive contents and pages to keep evidence against people posting inflammatory contents.

He said it was necessary as often people deleted the content after posting it. Imran added that the social media cells were asked for proactive scanning of hash tags, trends, pages and handles on different social media platforms.

He said the social media cells were also using special software for wider area scanning of same objectionable contents at multiple platforms. “We are coordinating with nodal officers of different social media platforms for wider action against people sharing such contents,” he emphasised.

Another senior police official privy to the development said people booked in around 4,500 cases related to inflammatory and objectionable posts on the social media in last five years were on the police’s radar.

The state police officials said a list of all such people had been prepared and their verification was being done to ensure that they did not get involved in similar activities again.