Cyber cell tracking mischief mongers spreading fake news

If you post any unverified or inappropriate messages, including memes about COVID-19, on social media, you might get a call or mail from the cyber cell police of Greater Chennai Police warning you to remove the content. Ignoring the warning would mean getting the account blocked or facing police action.
File Photo
File Photo


Even as the entire world is reeling under the pandemic, battling the fake news has become a major problem as miscreants spread speculative, unverified, provocative and inflammatory messages on social media.
To curb the menace, the cyber cell of Central Crime Branch (CCB) has stepped up measures and are on constant vigil to find fake messages and information about COVID-19.
A senior police official of the CCB said that a team of police personnel have been actively checking social media platforms for unverified messages. “Also, we get alerts from others, including public, about misinformation being spread,” added the official.
How it works 
If the cyber cell comes across fake information on social media, for example on Facebook or YouTube, the police would comment on the post through the official account warning that the message is
inappropriate and that it should be removed. They would also advise others to refrain from commenting on the post and sharing it.
“The account holder mostly immediately respond and remove the content. If they don’t, we get their contact details from the social media companies and call them directly to remove the content,” said the official. Social media firms are said to be proactive in providing the required information to police since COVID-19 has become a global threat. More than a 100 such fake messages are said to have been blocked since the lockdown, though cyber officials said the count is adding on every day.

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