These days very often unsuspecting people are drawn towards fake news creating unnecessary confusion, spreading a lot of hate and suspicion, some of which ultimately lead to stoking communal fires.
Several initiatives of not only the Kolkata Police but policing agencies worldwide are aimed at controlling this perception that constitutes a tinderbox with an ability to culminate in a conflagration if not contained and checked.
The made-up-stories with an intent to deceive, fake news has the ability to not only create fear and panic but can also bring about unprecedented calamities. Thus, this threat to our democracy needs to be controlled, regardless of religious bigotry and bottled-up emotions.
Kolkata Police is closely monitoring the evolving digital space and creating a databank of fake news circulated on social media in the recent times and also keeping a constant check on those names who have been involved in earlier incidents. This is being done to keep a track of the offenders.
We are constantly keeping a tight watch on fake news posted across different social media platforms. The social media team of Kolkata Police is also tracking all illegitimate or provocative posts.
In this age of the Internet, it is absolutely essential to keep strict vigil over communication ethics and the Freedom of Expression that India enjoys preventing chaos and suspicion.
Ad campaigns, motivating speeches, constant announcements are being done to explain how fake news and hoaxes can be spotted and prevented.
Kolkata Police personnel are roping in important individuals of society to appeal to the people to practice restraint and be vigilant at sifting the chaff from the grain and bethe gatekeepers.
Dedicated cyber police stations have been set up for round-the-clock monitoring of different websites, Facebook pages and WhatsApp groups. Keywords are being used, fact-checking modules are being applied and IP addresses are being tracked. For Example, the fake news that went viral with regard to Eid was controlled immediately.
Despite high levels of literacy and urbanisation, fake news and viral hoaxes have gained ground in recent years. It is imperative to understand that any piece of news, however glorified it is, is not sacrosanct and true.
Lastly, here’s an interesting note for all our readers. From now on, Kolkata Protector Will highlight remarkable achievements, good work and opinions of our colleagues serving in other states.
Rajeev Kumar, IPS
Commissioner of Police Kolkata