WhatsApp nos allotted to districts for people to report dubious content.
Nearly two weeks after five people were lynched by a mob on suspicion of being “child lifters”, the Maharashtra government has tasked its cyber cell with curbing circulation of fake news on social media.
In addition to verifying doubtful content on social media, the cyber cell unit, which comes under the government’s Directorate General of Information and Publicity department, will also educate government officers and the general public on how to recognize fake news and report it to the authorities.
The government has already circulated 250 articles on how to detect fake news to its employees. Text messages about the menace of fake news have also been sent to around one crore people.
“Further, each district has been allotted WhatsApp contact numbers on which people can report fake or dubious news. Once we get this content, our fact checking team will analyse it to verify its authenticity,” Brijesh Singh, special Inspector General (cyber crime), told Mirror.
The team has joined hands with the Maharashtra police and other state departments to help with the task.
“It is a matter of concern the way fake messages get circulated,” Singh said.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis himself attended one such workshop in Nagpur on Friday. He has clarified that there will not be any surveillance on the public at large.