Chandigarh, Sep 9 (PTI) The Punjab Police on Wednesday said it has got 38 Facebook, 49 Twitter and 21 YouTube accounts and links blocked by competent authorities for spreading vicious propaganda on coronavirus.
“A total of 151 accounts/links of Facebook, 100 of Twitter, four of Instagram and 37 of YouTube have been reported to the authorities concerned, with 121 FIRs registered so far at various police stations across Punjab,” a government release said.
Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta said the force had taken up the matter of blocking the spiteful accounts of “anti-national” and “anti-social” elements with Cyber Law Division of the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, following which 108 accounts/links have been blocked so far.
Further action on the remaining accounts is awaited, he said.
The top cop said the competent authorities of the social media platforms had also been requested to provide information of the users.
Suitable legal action will be initiated against the miscreants under relevant provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and Indian Penal Code as soon as the user information is received, he asserted.
Commenting on the matter, Arpit Shukla, Director Bureau of Investigations said the State Cyber Crime Cell, Punjab, has appealed to the people not to share any kind of unverified or unauthentic posts, news, videos or stories regarding COVID-19 on social media, in the interest of the safety, security and maintenance of public order.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had ordered the crackdown amid widespread rumour-mongering and spread of fake news and spiteful videos on social media platforms, intentionally to spread hatred, misinformation and disaffection.
Videos are being uploaded by anti-social elements to incite the public in the name of “human organ trade during COVID-19”, the release said.
A wave of misinformation is being spread through various social media platforms that doctors and paramedics are falsely declaring people COVID-19 positive and then taking out their organs for monetary benefits, it said.
“These obnoxious posts/videos on social media are not only defamatory to the state government and doctors, but are also seen discouraging people from testing and treatment for COVID-19 from various health facilities,” the release said.
Notably, circulation of several rumours, including organ harvesting at government health facilities, has turned out to be a new challenge for the state health department in its fight against the pandemic.
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