India’s gov’t taking legal action against offensive social media content

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India

India’s government is not pulling any punches when it comes to its mission to keep things “clean” on social media platforms. According to a report by The Next Web, the country’s officials have started sending legal notices to Twitter users who they reckon have stirred ethnic tensions by posting inflammatory and controversial content.

The Indian government has had its eye on a number of social media platforms following the widespread panic and mass evacuation in Northern India, which it believes these sites are responsible for. The basis for this was around inflammatory mass text messages which spread rumours and innuendo about recriminations and violence, which led the government to block the sending of multiple text messages.

Citing an anonymous government official, the report says that the Indian government is currently building a case against those it believes to be responsible for the text messages.

The government minister said that the government has contacted a few Twitter users, who have been summoned to a September 10 meeting at the office of the Computer Emergency Response Team. Officials have reached out to Google and Facebook in a bid to identify more of the alleged perpetrators.

“Notices have been sent to at least four people who have Twitter accounts. These people were sent notices as we are sure of their identities. They have been asked to explain their case before the committee,” the anonymous official said.

“For the rest, we have written to Google and Facebook asking for details of accounts that hosted such anti-social information, and were blocked… Once we receive information from Google and Facebook, we will send notices to the rest of the people.”

Whether or not Google and Facebook will respond to this remains to be seen. The country has been very vocal about banning such social platforms in the past. Also according to Google’s transparency report India at the top of the list of countries that routinely ask internet companies to remove content.

Neither of the social platforms have commented on the situation.

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