The Tamil Nadu Government continues to threaten legal action against those spreading false rumours and making unfounded allegations against the administration on Facebook and other social media platforms.
The latest instance of this clash between social media meme factories and the government has been on the issue of a water supply and infrastructure contract awarded to a French company by local authorities in the industrial town of Coimbatore.
The French firm Suez won a nearly Rs 3,000 crore contract to build and maintain 24/7 water supply infrastructure in nearly 60 wards of Coimbatore's old city areas. As the firm began surveying water supply connections in the city, many activists took to social media instigating the public with a series of allegations regarding the company.
Memes which said that the French company would charge exorbitant rates for drinking water and that the city was going to be held to ransom by the multinational firm were being spread.
The government responded by saying that the control of water supply would ultimately vest in the hands of the Coimbatore city corporation, which would be the sole deciding authority on line disconnections and water tariff.
The city body also filed a complaint with the cyber crime unit of the police against those spreading rumours in the state on this issue. For good effect, SP Velumani, a senior minister from the region, also made sure the message went out by tweeting the following:
The state government is already beleaguered by various allegations and rumours on the Thoothukudi firing incident and the Salem Chennai Expressway project. Controversial environmental activist Piyush Manush and others were even arrested, and subsequently released, for instigating violence.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.