Govt to call WhatsApp, Facebook representatives to discuss ways to check rumours on ‘child-lifters’



File Photo

File Photo

The government is planning to take the help of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp to check the circulation of false information and fake videos about “child-lifters” that have led to incidents of violence, including lynching of over a dozen people, officials said on June 3.

Representatives of the social media platforms will be called for a meeting to be convened by the Home Ministry.

The recent incidents of lynching of people on the suspicion that they were child-lifters had alarmed everyone and the issue would be discussed at the meeting, a Home Ministry official said.

The decision to call the representatives of social media platforms was taken at an inter-ministerial meeting on June 16, chaired by Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, where the issue of circulation of false information and fake videos was discussed in detail.

The meeting had also taken stock of terrorist organisations using social media and discussed the ways to prevent them, along with the circulation of pornographic materials, the official said.

The date of the meeting with the social media representatives was yet to be fixed, another official said, adding that it was expected to be held soon.

Five people were lynched in Maharashtra’s Dhule district last week on the suspicion that they were members of a gang of child-lifters. Two people were lynched, while six others thrashed, on the suspicion of being child-lifters in Tripura on June 28. Two men were lynched in Assam last month on a similar suspicion.

In Chennai, two men employed with a construction company engaged in Metro Rail work were attacked last week when they tried to stop a boy from crossing a busy road and a bystander raised an alarm, suspecting them to be child-lifters. However, they were rescued by the police.