CHANDIGARH: The Punjab Police on Thursday said it has approached the Centre for blocking 45 social media links which are allegedly spreading misinformation about COVID-19 pandemic.
They said the Government of India was approached after the social media platforms concerned failed to act against the links within the mandated 36 hours of notices being issued to them by the state.
With 13 more accounts/links being blocked by various platforms, the total number of URLs blocked for spreading false propaganda in the state has gone up to 121, the police said.
While Facebook has blocked 47 links or accounts, Twitter has blocked 52, YouTube has blocked 21 and Instagram has blocked one.
In addition, 292 more links carrying malicious content have been reported to social media platforms, Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta said in a statement here.
The central government's intervention has been sought for 45 such links, Gupta said.
The police have also issued a look-out circular for Satinder Singh, a resident of Vienna in Austria. He was allegedly responsible for posting fake videos and asking people in Punjab to refrain from going to hospitals for treatment.
The anchors of a private cable TV channel have been booked for trying to spread misleading facts about ASHA (accredited social health activist) workers. A total of 18 FIRs have been registered so far against people involved in rumor-mongering, said the DGP.
The chief minister had ordered a crackdown amid the spread of fake news on social media platforms by anti-social elements intentionally to spread hatred, misinformation, and disaffection.
Videos are being uploaded to incite the public in the name of "human organ trade during COVID-19", a release said.
A wave of misinformation is being spread through social media platforms that doctors and paramedics are falsely declaring people COVID positive and are then taking out their organs for monetary benefits, it said.