State Intelligence Department of Maharashtra has confirmed through its findings that Social Media is playing very significant role in creating communal tension. Be it inciting communal tensions or creating hatred between political or social groups role of social media is most momentous .Rather social media is used for adding fuel to trivial issues which can flare up instantaneously.
According to reports in last 10 months 482 cases were registered in state due to derogatory remarks posted on social media. I presume that these cases must be registered only in context with the original creator of the post and those persons who subsequently commented on the original posting in more derogatory or offending manner or those persons who liked and shared such derogatory postings more vociferously would have been spared. Even there would have been more derogatory contents on such liking and sharing and tagging.
Another interesting statistics published is as below. 125 cases were registered for hurting Hindu religious sentiments against which 182 reactions occurred in State which led to reporting 271 cases. 37 cases were registered for hurting Buddhist religious sentiments against which 290 reactions occurred in State which led to reporting 96 cases. 76 cases were registered for hurting Muslim religious sentiments against which 38 reactions occurred in State.
This statistics makes role of social media evident in escalating the crimes and use of social media as additive for acceleration of overall crimes. This must be the first ever incident where any of the existing Government agencies have shown courage to openly expose the nexus between Social Media and growth in crimes though in specific domain of Communal hatred crimes.
As an old saying “WELL BEGUN IS HALF DONE” I congratulate SID for publication of such report. The report further acknowledged that delay in apprehending of culprits has created resentment about police machinery.
Here I would like to make few suggestions.
1) There should be proper understanding in Police machinery about destructive capability of Social Media and this is possible only through trainings by the Cyber Security Specialists.
2) There should be proper understanding about the available legal provisions for such mishappening in Cyberspace and procedural knowledge about How to stop such social media postings, How to block websites or Defamatory contents etc. must be provided to police personnel.
3) There should be effective mechanism for monitoring social media through extended arms like professionals actively working in similar domain, Go’s and other information sources.
4) There should be Cyber Awareness Campaign amongst netizens about Myths and Facts of Social Media and Do’s and don’t on Social Media or online behavior in general.
I, on behalf of CYBER AWARENESS ORGANISATION, extend my support and active participation in any such programs organized by any organization.
Cyber Legal Consultant