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Andhra Police CID declares 'war' on social media trolls targeting CM, judiciary; says some Oppn party posts deleted

Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh Police CID has declared ‘war’ on social media ‘trolls’ in the state who resort to abuse and post disparaging content on the judiciary, chief minister, political leaders, their families and others, an official said on Wednesday.

CID chief N Sanjay said the department will deal sternly with the people behind abusive content and noted that action on them will be more severe than before.

He revealed that the CID has put a tab on select social media accounts belonging to opposition parties and got some of their posts deleted as well.

“The CID has declared war on social media abuse… Even in the field of social media, the CID has resolved to bring some discipline, policing and legal accountability,” said Sanjay, Additional Director General of police (ADGP), CID, addressing a press conference at the Secretariat.

He said that in 2022, the department prevailed upon social media companies to delete as many as 1,450 inappropriate posts, and that the number stands at 2,164 thus far in 2023.

The senior IPS officer said that 202 abusive social media accounts are being monitored and 2,972 cyber bully sheets have been opened against the online abusers.

Further, the CID chief noted that the department is liaising with foreign countries through diplomatic channels in coordination with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to target trolls taking refuge overseas.

According to Sanjay, the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty programme — bilateral treaty between countries for providing international cooperation and assistance — has enabled the CID to handle 45 cases of overseas trolls now, including issuing lookout circulars in five cases.

Similarly, the ADGP said that some anti-social elements targeting Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and his family members have been identified. Naming three accounts, he said there’s a special focus on them.

He said that the CID’s social media wing, along with other technology partners, will get the accounts of social media bullies barred, and added that the police will also not hesitate to attach the assets of the people behind the accounts.

The CID will organise a summit with the participation of industry partners in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam, he said, to create a positive social media atmosphere, including involving positive influencers.

Besides focusing on cyber crime and economic offences, he said the CID has also asked industry partners for cooperation in nipping social media abuse in the bud.

Sanjay also explained the difficulty in procuring technological tools for fighting social media trolls as they may not be of use on multiple fronts to justify their exorbitant cost.

He said a tool costing Rs 10 crore could be procured but it may be of use in only one case, leaving it redundant later on.

(Published 08 November 2023, 15:23 IST)

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