Kerala police has set up a team of six social media experts to keep track of forwards that have the potential to create trouble. The move follows a hartal called by some unidentified forces on 16 April to protest the alleged rape and murder of a eight-year old girl in Jammu. The hartal triggered violence in some areas which was blamed to intelligence failure in the state.
Malayalam daily Manorama reportedthat even a subtle hate or scare-mongering message on the social media cannot escape the notice of the social media team.
The team will function in various ways and will warm the groups that send out messages that could potentially create trouble. The state cyber wing police will be simultaneously alerted to contain the elements. The Kerala police had utilised the service of the team to contain rumours on the spread of Nipah virus that resulted in the death of 16 persons. However, panic among the people of the state was contained during the episode.
The social media team will also indulge in public relations exercise similar to the ones it did during Nipah when it highlighted the role of police during the outbreak of the nipah virus.
Kerala police have been looking at various ways to contain spread of rumours and hate message through the social media as well as the dark net, which was primarily used by Islamist elements to lure youth.
Social media is also being misused by mischievous elements in Tamil Nadu (TN) to mislead people on various issues. TN social media is especially known to be abuzz with rumours and conspiracy theories.