To curb hateful messages that may incite communal violence in Uttar Pradesh, the Gautam Buddha Nagar administration may set up a ‘war room’ to monitor such posts on social media, officials told the Indian Express. The platform will also promote government schemes apart from stopping online trolling and hate speech. B N Singh, District Magistrate, Gautam Buddha Nagar told the Indian Express that any messages or information that can disturb law and order situation in the state will be tracked online. He gave a special emphasis to the Information Technology (IT) sector and the electronic mode used today. He said a smart administration is needed to tackle the exchange of information in real time. The district administration made a similar move in January before the state’s Assembly elections, according to the IE report. The administration started tracking Whatsapp messages and social media cooperating with the police and telecom operators until the polls. In case of any messages containing communal tones, the officials decided to take legal action.
This move came after the 2015 Dadri lynching case where Mohammad Akhlaq was publicly lynched by a mob over suspicion of consumption of beef. An FIR was lodged over social media messages containing material that was communally sensitive, according to the Indian Express. In 2013, a video of two men being publicly lynched was circulated through social media which incited violence in Muzaffarnagar. The video turned out to be shot in Waziristan, Pakistan in 2011.
You may also like to watch
Officials told the IE that this upcoming ‘war room’ would have less than 10 people working in two shifts after being trained at the Centre for Cyber Investigation. Singh also said that many government schemes are not reaching target groups like village heads, PDS shops and teachers. The war room would also help in disseminating such information so that people can upload relevant details and documents, he said.