In what’s probably the first instance of the Election Commission (EC) acting against fake news, the poll watchdog has asked police to investigate a purported news item on Lok Sabha election dates circulating on social media platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp.
The EC ordered its Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) in Delhi Thursday to request the police “to take immediate necessary action against unknown persons and entities” responsible for the said fake news. Charanjit Singh, an officer in the Delhi CEO office, subsequently wrote to the special commissioner of police heading the special cell and technology cell of Delhi Police.
Act against those spreading fake schedule of 2019 general elections on social media platforms: Delhi Chief Electoral Officer’s Office to Technology Cell of Delhi Police. @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/rS0QTyAtLo
— Sourav Roy Barman (@Sourav_RB) January 17, 2019
The news item in question claims that Lok Sabha polls will start on April 7 and end on May 17. The said item then goes on to list poll dates for each of the states. Although the Commission denied the news, but, in an unprecedented move, went ahead and lodged a complaint with the police to set an example, said sources.
“The publication of such fake news is causing severe confusion to the public thereby creating public nuisance and mischief,” states the letter written by Singh Thursday.