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Odisha Police Remove 420 Offensive Social Media Posts Related to Elections

Bhubaneswar: The Social Media Monitoring Cell of Odisha Police has taken down 420 offensive posts related to the General Elections 2024. These actions are part of a broader effort to ensure a fair and peaceful electoral process.

In addition to the removals, five FIRs have been registered concerning violations on social media platforms, currently under various stages of investigation. The Odisha Police have enlisted IT professionals as Cyber Volunteers to enhance these efforts, according to a statement from the state police.

These measures target social media misconduct, model code of conduct violations, and illegal activities. The offensive content was spread across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and X (formerly Twitter), originating from supporters of various political parties and other groups. The posts were flagged for being potentially derogatory, abusive, inflammatory, or hateful, underscoring the need for vigilant monitoring to maintain public order.

The Social Media Unit of the Crime Branch has long been operational, but per the Election Commission’s directive, Social Media Cells were recently activated in all Police Districts. The coordinated efforts of the State Social Media Unit and District Social Media Cells have yielded significant results:

Facebook: 788 requests were sent for content takedown or removal. META responded promptly, removing 256 posts/accounts containing objectionable content.

Instagram: 471 requests were submitted for content takedown or removal, with META successfully removing 154 posts/accounts.

YouTube: 96 requests were issued for content takedown or removal, resulting in Google taking down 9 pieces of inappropriate or harmful content.

Additionally, approximately 950 social media handles are under surveillance by various Social Media Cells of the Odisha Police.

The primary focus of these cells is round-the-clock cyber patrolling across major platforms to identify and act on offensive, hateful, and abusive posts. Their goal is to ensure a free, fair, and impartial electoral process.

IT professionals joining as Cyber Volunteers highlight the collaborative approach to curbing the spread of harmful content. These efforts are a proactive measure to maintain the integrity of information disseminated online during the elections.

The Cyber Crime Unit of the Crime Branch also actively spreads awareness about cybercrimes and financial frauds through daily posts on its official social media account, @cybercopodisha. These posts educate the public about the dangers of cyber fraud, fake news, misinformation, and disinformation, providing valuable tips for discerning credible information.

The Crime Branch appeals to citizens to use social media responsibly, recognizing its power for both information gathering and dissemination when used appropriately. Cybercops engaged in cyber patrolling continue to monitor deviant handles, with legal actions to be taken when necessary. The public is urged to avoid social media misuse to stay on the right side of the law.

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