CHENNAI: The city police are on a two-front combat against the COVID-19 pandemic. While struggling to keep lockdown violators at bay, the sleuths are also battling to curb fake news, rumours about the disease.
According to a senior police officer from the Cyber Crime Branch of the city police, more than 50 people have been arrested for spreading rumours and fake news on social networking sites since the lockdown started.
The increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the State has given fodder to fake news, many of them fanning communal hatred targeting Muslims and the Tablighi Jamaat conference in Delhi. Miscreants are also circulating videos falsely claiming that members of a particular community were spitting on food to spread the virus.
The police officer said they have a team monitoring such content to ensure that communal harmony is not disturbed. “People now spend more time on social media and come across rumours which they believe and forward casually. This is the biggest challenge for us,” added the officer.
Acting against fake news
1. Sleuths monitor fake news and rumours on social media
2. When such videos or messages are spotted in Facebook and YouTube, cops first post a comment saying it is derogatory and has to be deleted
3.If the video or content is still not deleted, then a written request is sent to the host to take down the content
4. If a particular person is constantly sending rumours, that persons is booked and arrested