227 FIRs registered in Maharashtra for spreading fake news/hate speech through Facebook/whatsapp/tiktok

Cyber Cell Maharashtra Police
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Pune, 17 April 2020 : From March 24 when the Lockdown began to till date, a total of 227 cases have been registered regarding fake news, rumors and hate speech over social media in Maharashtra. Out of that 219 are (FIR) cognizable cases and 8 are NC (Non-Cognizable).

Superintendent of Police (Maharshtra Cyber) Balsing Rajput said, “In total 46 accused are arrested and 170 are identified. All concerned police units are taking swift action about arrest and consecutive preventive action. Out of total arrested accused preventive action as per 107 CrPC is carried out on 8 accused.

There are rising trend in hate speech cases in last seven days, out of total registered cases, 120 cases about hate speech over social media. The other major category is rumors/ fake news about corona with 76 cases and other misinformation cases are 31.
What’s App (104 cases), Facebook (75 cases), Tiktok (3 cases) and twitter (3) are mostly misused by perpetrators for these activities.
Take down notices are issued to all concerned platforms of social media. So far 32 posts are removed. Out of total 104 cases are of WhatsApp and due to nature of technology and encryption posts over WhatsApp can be removed. In remaining 85 cases, notices are issued to platforms and removal process is in progress.
It is observed that extortion emails have been received by many people in last few days. In such emails password is sent to victim through email or a browser history showing accessed porn websites. Then money in bitcoin is demanded. Such emails have become rampant. This may be due to data breach event. It is advised to all users to update your password and other relevant security details regularly.”
Maharashtra Cyber has appealed people refrain from spreading any fake messages. “Dear Citizens, We see a lot of misinformation being spread over social media about #Coronavirus. If you come across any rumors or audio/video clips, we encourage you to tweet us on the hashtag #corona misinformation to help us stop the spread of misinformation. #staycybersafe”, Maharashtra Cyber tweeted.