The Mumbai Police on Friday issued a circular warning against the dissemination of fake content on social media and said that administrators of social media platforms and groups would personally be held responsible for any fake information disseminated on their group.
The circular signed by signed by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) Pranaya Ashok states that there is widespread dissemination of fake news, incorrect information over internet messaging and social media platforms like WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram etc.
“Such type of content has been found to have caused panic, confusion among the general public, inciting mistrust towards government functionaries and their actions taken to control the COVID-19 pandemic and also to have created animosity towards various communities,” the order states.
To prevent this the Mumbai Police has issued a prohibitory order under section 144 of the CRPC prohibiting dissemination of information through various messaging and social media platforms like WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram and found to be incorrect and distorting fact.
The order states that any content that is derogatory and discriminatory towards a particular community and which causes panic and confusion among the general public; or incites mistrust towards government functionaries and their actions taken in order to prevent spread of the COVID-19 virus would be liable for prosecution.
“All persadminsons designated as “Admin” on messaging and social media platforms, either by self or by allowing any member of the group, shall be personally responsible for any such information being disseminated from a group administered by them,” the order states. It also states that it would be the personal responsibility of a group admin to inform the police about any derogatory or misleading content posted on their group. Any person who is found to have flouted the directive would be persecuted under Section 188 of the IPC.
The order has come into effect from midnight April 10 and will be in effect till April 24.
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