Social media content: Spike in hate, communal content on social media: Cyber police

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra cyber police have noted an increase in fake news, hate and communal content over coronavirus on social media in the last few days, an official said on Thursday.

The state cyber police have registered 132 cases till Wednesday in connection with fake news, rumours and hate speeches on social media since the lockdown, he said.

Among these cases, 49 are related to hate speeches on social media and other online channels, he said.

In the last 24 hours, the cyber police registered 20 cases of offences, including 14 for giving communal colour to the coronavirus situation, and six in connection with rumour- mongering, he said.

“While analysing data of the cases, it came to light that posts of hate speeches increased in the last five days,” Superintendent of Police, Maharashtra Cyber, Balsing Rajput said.

At least 35 people have been arrested in connection with these cases and 28 other offenders have been identified, he said.

These offensive activities have mostly been seen on WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter, he said.

“Out of the total offences, 79 are related to Whatsapp forwards in which unverified and unauthentic information related to COVID-19 was forwarded, and in some cases communal colour was given to the disease, which could have created law and order issue,” the official said.

Besides, 24 cases are related to objectionable Facebook posts, three offences are registered against Tik-Tok videos, three others are of objectionable tweets, and 23 offences are related to posts on other social media platforms like YouTube, where misleading video clips were circulated, he added.

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