Govt blocks several social media handles circulating fake, inciting content

New Delhi: The government has blocked several social media handles that were circulating “fake and inciting” content on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, Minister of State for IT Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Saturday. Owners of these accounts are being identified for action under the law, he added.

Amid the massive crackdown on hateful posts, sources said that the offensive content actioned pertained to fake video of a cabinet briefing, an animated fake video showing violence against the Prime Minister and derogatory posts targeting Hindu women uploaded on social media handles.

“Taskforce on Safe & Trusted Internet at @GoI_MeitY at work. Handles that tried to push fake/inciting content on twitter, youtube, fb, insta have been blocked,” Chandrasekhar tweeted on Saturday.

The minister said owners of such accounts are being identified for action under the law, and asserted that platforms will be reviewed on their due diligence.

On Friday evening, the minister had responded to a tweet that urged him to take action against the “creators of a very violent video that features the PM”, which “has been in the public domain since December 2020”.

The minister had responded, saying, “On the job. @GoI_MeitY takes its responsibility to keep Internet Safe and Trusted and Intermediaries accountable for the content and due diligence very seriously”.

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Sources said the government had identified 73 Twitter handles, 4 pieces of YouTube content, and 1 Instagram game.

Accordingly, 73 Twitter handles have been suspended, 4 YouTube content and the particular Instagram game have been removed.

The Delhi Police had registered a case after coming across a morphed video of a cabinet committee meeting wherein some persons tried to show that the meeting was against the Sikh community, officials had said on Friday.

The Centre, last year, had introduced stringent rules for social media platforms to make them more accountable to end-users in one of the world’s largest internet markets.

The rules require social media companies to take down contentious content quicker, appoint grievance redressal officers and assist in investigations.

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