Why Kerala’s anti-fake news law is urgently needed

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has withdrawn the controversial Sec 118A of the Kerala Police Act, also known as the anti Fake News law, pending fine-tuning and further consultations. “Whoever makes, expresses, publishes or disseminates through any kind of mode of communication, any matter or subject for threatening, abusing, humiliating or defaming a person or […]

Hindu Sadhus lynched: Palghar Police arrest 110 tribals

Palghar Police said it has arrested 110 people belonging to a local tribal community as part of the investigation into the lynching of two Hindu sanyasis (monks) on their way to Gujarat. Multiple videos of the incident have started circulating on social media. The police also warned rumor mongers to desist from attempting to give […]

FIR against Kerala journalist after questions on CM flood relief fund utilization

A case has been filed by the Kerala Police against new media entrepreneur and journalist Shajan Skariah of MarunadanMalayali.com for ‘misleading essential services forces’ and ‘causing nuisance’ after he questioned the utilization of the funds collected in the aftermath of last year’s funds. Skariah had put up a video on Facebook and Youtube in which […]

Malayalis conduct ‘Pongala’ on Imran Khan’s page after he calls Aug 15 ‘black day’

When Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan put up a black rectangle as the profile picture on his official Facebook page, it is unlikely that he anticipated the reaction, particularly from a small state across the border. Khan, who changed his profile picture to black on the night of Aug 14, simply wrote #15AugustBlackDay next to […]

Relief for social media users as SC orders Yogi govt to release journalist

The Supreme Court has ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to immediately release jailed journalist Prashant Kanojia. The state will be free to carry on a case against the journalist. Hearing a plea by wife Jagisha Arora to protect the journalist’s fundamental rights, a two-judge vacation bench comprising Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Ajay Rastogi did […]

India says WhatsApp giving ‘good response’ on monitoring proposal

Ravi Shankar Prasad, India’s minister for law and information technology, said the government has got ‘good response’ from WhatsApp for its proposal to install a monitoring mechanism on the platform. The government has been pushing WhatsApp to put up a monitoring mechanism that would send out alerts when messages on any one subject starts going […]

FULL TEXT: Assocham calls move to block FB, WhatsApp “excessive, unnecessary”

Assocham, one of India’s prominent associations of industries, has expressed concern at the government’s proposal to put in place a mechanism to block apps like Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram. The government has, in a confidential letter sent to internet service providers, asked them to suggest ways in which such apps can be blocked at India’s […]

Indian govt demands greater access from WhatsApp, Facebook & Twitter

India’s Information Technology Department today unveiled a new plan of action to combat fake news that would require foreign social media firms like Facebook, Twitter and Google to establish offices in India and actively help in flagging and tracking down people who post troublesome messages online. Ravi Shankar Prasad also said WhatsApp, in particular, has […]

Facebook most prompt in blocking posts; Twitter, Instagram least

Facebook has emerged as the social media platform that has the highest degree of compliance with Government of India’s blocking requests, while Twitter and Instagram have the least. In all, the government issued blocking requests for 2,205 posts in 2017 and 2018 (up to June), out of which 74% were taken down by the concerned […]

Govt faces questions over the ‘trolling’ of Sushma Swaraj in LS

Trinamool Congress MP Prasun Banerjee today raised the issue of the recent ‘trolling’ of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj in Parliament. Over the last several days, Swaraj has come under attack on social media after she took disciplinary action against an official of the Lucknow Regional Passport Office for allegedly denying passports to a Hindu-Muslim […]

Facebook rejects police request to block ‘drinker’s group’

Facebook has refused to block a ‘drinker’s group’ that the Kerala Police had requested to be taken down, according to local media reports. The social network reportedly told the police that the group was not in violation of its guidelines and cannot be taken down without proper justification. The Kerala Excise department is trying to […]

Hospital stops asking patients’ for their religion after viral post

Authorities at Little Lourdes Mission Hospital near Pala in Kerala have stopped asking patients to specify their religion after a unique form of protest by a young man named Sunil K Sudheer. Sunil had reached the hospital earlier this week for a doctor’s appointment for his 58-year-old mother Sarasamma. “I started filling the registration form,” […]

How WhatsApp can easily fix the Fake News problem

WhatsApp, India’s largest communication platform used by an estimated 65% of the country’s online population, has come under scrutiny for providing a conduit to distribute ‘fake news’ after multiple cases of lynchings came to light. While the company has urged ‘society and companies’ to help tackle the menace, the messaging application has some more to […]

WhatsApp starts rolling out ‘verified accounts’ with IndusInd Bank

WhatsApp, the biggest interpersonal text-messaging platform in India, has started rolling out its ‘verified accounts’ feature with IndusInd Bank as one of its first customers. For now, verified accounts are limited to businesses, and will be used to assure customers that they are communicating with the official, and authorized, phone number of a business or […]

Facebook Pages now support Polls, Notes and other new features

Facebook, the largest social network on earth, has added several new features to its ‘Pages’ feature, including the ‘Poll’s option that was removed five years ago. Administrators of Facebook pages can now create a poll by clicking on the ‘+’ sign and choosing ‘polls’ as the type for the new post they are able to […]

Twitter doubles ‘word limit’ to 280 characters

After years of debate, micro-blogging website Twitter is testing a higher word limit for some of its users, including some in India. Users, particularly active ones with large following, have been pleasantly surprised to see the limit of 140 characters relaxed as of today morning. “This is a small change, but a big move for […]

Republic TV’s 5-star Facebook ratings disappear mysteriously

Tens of thousands of five-star ratings given to Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV mysteriously disappeared over night, pushing the rating on the channel’s official page to a low of 2.1 stars out of 5.0. It is not clear why the ratings were removed. Over the last three days, the channel has come under a ‘rating attack’ […]

Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV gets derated by Malayalis

Republic TV, the channel launched by Arnab Goswami — the former editor of Times Now — has come in for a barrage of criticism on social media after Malayalis took offence to what has been portrayed as repeated attempts by the channel to tarnish the reputation of the state. The channel, which used to be […]

Did the army really use a Kashmiri as ‘human shield’ as Omar Abdullah claims?

Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah created a flutter when he tweeted the photograph of a person forced to sit on the spare tyre of an army jeep, claiming that the Indian army was using him as a ‘human shield’ to protect itself from stone pelters. However, a subsequent video of the […]

Arvind Kejriwal protests after Twitter cracks down on AAP accounts

Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal took to his account to protest the deletion of several AAP accounts after the social media company changed its anti-abuse algorithm. Three days ago, Twitter had said that it was putting in more safeguards against abuse and manipulation on its platform — a very widespread complaint. “This week we’re […]