PFI ban: Govt asks states to curb misuse of social media

The UN high commissioner for human rights and various UN human rights experts have repeatedly raised concerns in the last few years over shrinking space for civil society groups, and increased harassment and prosecution of human rights defenders and other critics.

Days after the nationwide crackdown and subsequent ban on Popular Front of India (PFI), the Union government sent out an advisory that there has been a significant increase in the posting of communally provocative content on social media platforms, The Hindu reported.

the Union government urged states to take effective steps to curb the misuse of cyberspace by miscreants to stoke communal passions by circulating provocative messages/photos/videos.

Security agencies are told to focus on venues of Durga Puja, ‘Ravan Dahan’ and ‘Garba’ events and organisers of these programmes are advised not to use high-decibel music and avoid raising provocative slogans or playing songs that could trigger communal friction.

According to the report, the security advisory called for taking down such objectionable content and blocking user accounts by following the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). It underlined the need for an enhanced vigil and heightened security arrangements at communally hyper-sensitive and sensitive locations.