Social Media under scanner, net suspended in six districts

SHILLONG, June 16: East Khasi Hills Police has announced that it would initiate legal and criminal action against those involved in posting provocative post/hate messages and fake news in social media. On the other hand, Internet services were suspended in eastern Meghalaya.

Issuing a statement on Saturday, the Shillong city SP Stephan A Rynjah stated, “It has been observed that recently some people with vested interest(s) have posted provocative posts/hate messages/rumors/fake news etc in the social media which have lead to incitement of communal feelings/sense of insecurity, etc in the mind of certain sections of society”.

Making an appeal to the public to desist from sending of such provocative hate posts/rumors/fake news, etc in the social media so that normalcy can be restored in Shillong city at the earliest, Rynjah furter stated, “It is also appealed to the general public that they should not share/publicize such posts without verifying the authenticity of the same.”

Further, it is requested that moderators/administrators of various groups in social media delete such post(s), if any, posted in their groups. Meghalaya Police is taking serious note of such post(s) and will initiate legal/criminal action against perpetrators of such provocative posts, the statement added.

Meanwhile agencies reported that Internet services were suspended in eastern Meghalaya. The Meghalaya Government on Saturday suspended internet services on mobile telephones in six districts in the State’s eastern part due to the “serious law-and-order situation” The suspension came four days after the Government had restored internet services on mobile telephones in the Meghalaya capital as normalcy returned.

In his notification, Commissioner and Home Secretary S. Kharlyngdoh said that the Government had received reports from Director General of Police, Swaraj Bir Singh noting that a serious law-and-order situation continues to prevail in Khasi & Jaintia Hills and Ri Bhoi district having potential threats to public safety.

“… messaging systems like Whatsapp and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and You Tube are likely to be used for transmission of information like pictures, videos and texts that have the potential to inflame passions and thus exacerbate the law-and-order situation in the entire Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hills and Ri Bhoi district,” said the notification. Kharlyngdoh said the Government has suspended mobile internet services for 48 hours starting from 3 p.m. on Saturday in East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills, South West Khasi Hills, Ri Bhoi, East Jaintia Hills and West Jaintia Hills.