No Mercy for Fake News Spreaders in Jharkhand

COVID-19 Crime

Out of the 120 people alleged for spreading misinformation in Jharkhand, the police have arrested 71 people for the crime.  

Bhavya Kumar

April 16, 2020

Online miscreants spreading fake news through social media will now face the wrath of Jharkhand police. The state police announced that they will take strict action against those spreading misinformation if found guilty.

The violators could be imprisoned for two-five years under section 188 and 153 A & B of the Indian Penal Code. In a notice released on Twitter, the state police have stated that nobody should use online platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube to spread misinformation.

This move has come after weeks of fake news being circulated by nefarious elements on social media. “I have received scores of misleading, fake news on my family WhatsApp group. The way those messages are designed, it’s believable if you’re in a vulnerable state of mind. I checked online for the information that came and I found most of them to be fake.”, said Monica Gupta, a resident of Ranchi.

The fake news shared on social media usually contains a believable video with aggressive voice-overs that assert the authenticity of the incidents shown in the video. They often use misleading texts to capture the attention of the viewers. In reality, they manipulate old videos from a different place to spread misinformation in the present context. Such distorted news has often led to animosity between communities and riot-like situations.

“Fake News is selling at a huge level; it spoils the mentality of a person who goes through such twisted information. It is a targeted attack by a cunning group of people that corrupts the psychology of everyone who comes in contact with the distorted narrative,” said Jai Gaikwad, a cyber safety expert at Cyber Safe India. He added, “This loathsome activity needs groundwork and the decision of Jharkhand police to combat this crime is a welcome step,” he added.

There have been 86 cases registered against such cases till Wednesday. The police have also stated that people liking and sharing news that incites hatred and violence will be punished as well.

The police have marked and twitter@jharkhandpolice to register complaints against such cases.


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