Ayodhya verdict: How UP Police curbed hate speech on social media

New Delhi, Nov 9 (IANS) A social media monitoring team in each of the 75 districts in the state, proactive measures to sanitise WhatsApp and constant monitoring of certain groups helped Uttar Pradesh Police control the spread of hate speech and misinformation on various social media platforms as the Supreme Court delivered the historic verdict in the Ayodhya title suit, a top state police officer said on Saturday.

The UP Police ensured well in advance that no WhatsApp groups in the communally-sensitive areas were able to post fake, mischievous or hate messages and disturb the law and order situation, Ashutosh Pandey, Additional Director General (ADG), UP Police, and special in-charge of Ayodhya security, told IANS during an interaction.

“We had instructed thousands of WhatsApp groups in the communally-sensitive pockets to go in ‘admin only’ mode or else face the music in case hate posts are seen emanating from such groups after the verdict,” said Pandey.

“We appointed a social media monitoring team in each of the 75 districts to look into Ayodhya-related posts and comments,” he informed.

The ‘admin only’ mode for WhatsApp groups ensured that only the admin of a particular group, not any member, was able to post messages after the verdict.

Appeals were also made to social media users to exercise restraint and not post any content that would create communal disharmony.

Several WhatsApp groups went into the ‘admin only’ mode across the country to avoid posting of any objectionable content by any member after the judgment.

In what will go down in history as one of its most landmark verdicts, the Supreme Court on Saturday granted the ownership of the 2.77 acres of disputed land in Ayodhya to the Hindus, paving the way for the construction of a Ram Temple, and ruled that the Muslims will get 5 acres of land at an alternative site.

–IANS
na/arm

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