General Elections 2024: Odisha Police Removed 420 Offensive Posts To Check Social Media Misuse

Bhubaneswar: To check misuse of social media in the ensuing General Elections 2024 in Odisha the Social Media Monitoring Cell of Odisha Police has removed 420 offensive contents related to the General Elections 2024.

Apart from that, 5 FIRs have also been registered related to violations on social media platforms and are under various stages of investigation. IT Professionals have also joined hands with Odisha Police as Cyber Volunteers in bolstering these efforts.

These actions have been taken against various instances of social media misconduct, violation of model code of conduct for elections or against those violating the law. The action has been taken across multiple platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and X (formerly Twitter). These posts, originating from supporters of various political parties and other groups, were identified as potentially derogatory or abusive or inflammatory or hateful, highlighting the importance of proactive monitoring in maintaining a peaceful environment.

The Social Media Unit of Crime Branch has been functional for quite some time. But as per the direction of Election Commission, Social Media Cells were formed and activated in all Police Districts. The combined efforts of the State Social Media Unit and the District Social Media Cells have led to notable accomplishments:

i) On Facebook, 788 requests were sent for content takedown or removal. META has promptly responded by taking down or removing 256 posts/ accounts of objectionable content.
In the case of Instagram, 471 requests were submitted for content takedown or removal. META acted upon on 154 of these requests, successfully removing problematic content from the platform.
For YouTube, 96 requests were issued for content takedown or removal. Google has responded by taking down or removing 9 pieces of content, which were deemed inappropriate or harmful.
iv) Apart from these, around 950 handles are under surveillance across the state by various Social Media Cells of Odisha Police.
The primary focus of Social Media Cell is round the clock cyber patrolling across popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter for locating offensive, hateful and abusive posts and initiate appropriate action, including the removal of pages or accounts to ensure free, fair and impartial electoral process. IT Professionals have also joined hands with Odisha Police as Cyber Volunteers in bolstering these efforts. These collaborative actions demonstrate a proactive approach in curbing the spread of harmful or inappropriate content across various social media platforms.

Cyber Crime Unit of Crime Branch is also actively spreading awareness among the public against cybercrimes and financial frauds through daily posts on its official social media accounts @cybercopodisha. These posts are aimed to educate people about the dangers posed by cyber fraudsters, fake news, misinformation, and disinformation. Through valuable insights and practical tips, Cyber Cops are empowering individuals to discern credible information from deceptive content.

Crime Branch also appeals to citizens to use social media in a decent and appropriate way without harming other individuals and organizations. It is a powerful tool for information gathering as well as for dissemination if used in the right manner.

The Cybercops engaged in cyber patrolling are keeping a watch on deviant handles and legal action would be taken at the appropriate moment. Hence it is requested to stay away from social media misuse to save one from getting on to the wrong side of the law.

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