The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is likely to take legal action against those who have created fake ISRO accounts on the social media.
The past two months have seen many firsts for ISRO. India’s first interplanetary mission Mangalyan was launched in November and ISRO left no stone unturned to provide live updates of the orbiter’s progress through it’s recently-launched Facebook page. However, many false accounts cropped up soon after.
In a statement issued on Monday, an ISRO spokesperson said many fake ISRO accounts have been created on Facebook and Twitter by users pretending to work for the space organisation or the Department of Space. “Such impersonations of the organisation is construed to be a serious offence and stern legal actions against these administrators are being initiated to bring them to immediate closure,” he said.
He also urged people to be on guard for the fake accounts.
ISRO’s official Facebook account can be accessed at www.facebook.com/isromom. Interestingly, one of the Twitter accounts (@Mangalyaan1) mentioned in the statement as being a fake is followed by Nandan Nilekani, Vijay Mallya and several media houses. According to the statement, other false handles on Twitter are @ISRO_India and @ISROBhuvan.
Both Facebook and Twitter have strict policies against account impersonation. However, Twitter permits parody accounts as long as the account description mentions the same.
ISRO has not elaborated on what action would be taken against the false account creators but Facebook policies make it necessary for a police complaint to be filed and forwarded to the company, with proof.