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Police Join Social Media to Counter WhatsApp Vitriol

June 14, 2018 06:35 AM


Police Join Social Media to Counter WhatsApp Vitriol
Police in Karnataka, Assam, Telangana, Kerala take steps to prevent mob violence
Nilesh Christopher & Naveen Menezes


State police across Karnataka, Assam, Telangana and Kerala are designing social media campaigns as an antidote to fake news on messaging apps like WhatsApp following claims that these platforms have been used to incite violence across several locations in recent weeks.

Alarmed by the rising incidence of attacks on individuals as a result of rumours spread by users of the app — owned by social network Facebook — law enforcement authorities across several states are intensifying community policing using the same platforms.

Bengaluru police commissioner T Suneel Kumar said the department is creating awareness about #FakeRumourOnChildKidnappers on social media as well as by distributing pamphlets across the city. “We have not written to either Facebook or WhatsApp as they would take their own time to respond. Instead, we have alerted our police personnel to be aware of repetition and are reaching out to people through different means,” he told ET.

Last month, a mob lynched a man in a Bengaluru locality suspecting him to be a child abductor

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