Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has issued instructions for a strict clampdown clamping down on the spreading of fake news and doctored videos on social media, especially stories and videos which amount to incitement of communal violence.
This comes on the heels of an FIR filed against social media platform Twitter in the Loni police station in Ghaziabad, for flouting the new IT rules that came into effect on May 25.
Recently, there was news about a 72-year-old man Abdul Samad Saifi being beaten up by some youths in Ghaziabad. A video of the incident was posted on Twitter, which went viral afterwards. Saifi claimed that his beard was cut off and he was forced by his assaulters to chant “jai Shree ram” and “Vande Mataram”. Though the first claim was validated by the police, the second one was vigorously denied by the Loni police, who said in a statement that no such incident had ever occurred and this claim (of being forced to chant Jai Shree Ram) was not mentioned in the original FIR lodged by Saifi.
In lieu of the new findings, a case was lodged at the Loni police station against Twitter for failing to remove the post which reported the distorted version of the incident. Alongside the FIR against Twitter, complaints have been filed against journalists Mohd Zubair, Rana Ayyub, news portal The Wire, Salman Nizami, Muskoor Usmani, Dr. Shama Mohammed, and Saba Naqvi for tweeting about this incident.
This is the first case of its kind against Twitter in India and it effectively led to Twitter losing its protection shield as an intermediary, which it previously held under Section 79 of the Indian IT Act. The FIR has been registered under sections 153, 153A, 295A, 505 and 120B, and 34 of IPC.