Fighting fake news: Nagaland Police issue advisory amid COVID-19
Kohima: As the world battles the deadly coronavirus or COVID-19, fake news around the virus have been spreading rapidly over multiple social media platforms. Even as Nagaland is no exception, the state police on Friday issued an advisory for all social media users and admins to comply during the global coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic.
Taking to twitter, Nagaland Police issued an advisory to do away with fake news and hate speeches, and to instill in minds the responsibility of every social media handlers across various applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Tiktok, Telegram and so on, to abide by the law.
The state police appealed the locals not to post, share, forward and disseminate any messages and visuals that could lead to communal hatred, disrupt public order, decency and morality. While the police categorically issued a series of do’s for both the users and the admins, it also highlighted the punishable offences under the Indian penal code (IPC), Disaster management Act (DMA), Information Technology Act (IT Act), Code of criminal Procedure (CrPC), and Epidemic diseases Act (EDA), in case of any violation.
It warned members of any groups not to post fake news, hate speech or misinformation as it is an offense under Section 54 of DMA 2005, Section 66 and 79 of IT Act 2008 and Section 505 of IPC. It alerted the users not forward or circulate any such news and immediately delete any objectionable post.
Verify contents before posting it, it said and further added that any piece of misinformation, fake news or hate speech be reported at , or to the nearest police station. Never share any content that is violent, pornographic and discriminative against any religion/community, it warned.
It urged the admins to ensure that every member of the group is reliable and responsible enough to share only verified news. While it advised admins to inform members about the rules of posting in the group, it said that sharing of objectionable content must be warned.
Admins must actively and regularly monitor content that are shared and if it becomes uncontrollable, then the group settings can be changed for admins to post only and to further report to the police if any member resorts to mischief and share objectionable content.
The state police also prescribed 11 punishable offences under the Law along with the description of the offence and the during of the punishment. Briefly, the mentioned laws are: Sec 153A & B of IPC;C, Sec 295A of IPC, Sec 505 of IPC, Sec 188 of IPC, Sec 66C & D of IT Act, Sec 79 of IT Act; Sec54 of DMA; Sec144&144(£) of CrPC, and Sec 188 IPC r/w Sec3 of EDA.
The law enforcing agencies have power under the law to take legal action against anyone who spreads rumours and causes a state of unrest between religious communities in this state of crisis, it warned.
Furthermore, it said that violations will be dealt with firmly as per law including apprehension of the offenders and appropriate action under the preventive section of the law.