facebook: Government wants TikTok & Facebook to save details of people who upload rogue Covid-19 content for probe – Digitalmunition

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Published on April 8th, 2020 📆 | 5786 Views ⚑


facebook: Government wants TikTok & Facebook to save details of people who upload rogue Covid-19 content for probe

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) is learnt to have asked social media platforms like TikTok, Helo and Facebook to remove rogue messages spreading misinformation and weakening government’s effort to fight against the coronavirus. Social media companies have also been asked to save details of uploaders of such malicious content which can be shared with law enforcement agencies when required.

“MeitY has said that a large number of fake/false and misinformation based audio and video clips are being circulated on social media platforms especially TikTok, Helo and Facebook. It said that such false and misinformation based messages have the potential for creating panic and other online harms,” according to a source aware of the development.

The ministry in separate communications asked social media companies to remove the content as it weakens the government effort to fight against coronavirus and the Supreme Court has also taken serious note of such content while hearing a matter on the subject on March 31, 2020.

“The ministry has said that the rogue messages effectively weaken the all-out effort being made by the India government for containing the spread of coronavirus,” the source said.

The communication from MeitY follows after a report submitted by open-source intelligence and fact-checking IT firm Voyager Infosec stated that several videos are being posted on social media platforms like TikTok, YouTube and Twitter to influence Muslims in India against following safe practices to contain coronavirus infection.

The firm found that videos have been shot at both foreign locations and in India and are being primarily posted on Chinese mobile video app TikTok with fake information about coronavirus and religious instigations against health advisories.


The ministry has asked social media platforms to work closely with each other so that messages are identified and removed as soon as possible.

These videos are further shared on other platforms like Whatsapp, Twitter and Facebook,” the report said.

The report submitted to India Cyber Crime Coordination Centre claims to have analysed over 30,000 videos within a period of five days. It further said that most of these videos have been created with professional video editing software, and originally uploaded accounts are being deleted after circulating them on other social media platforms.

“MeitY has asked social media platforms to work closely with each other so that messages, including audio and video messages, are identified and removed as soon as possible. It has asked social media companies to submit daily reports on measures taken by them,” the source said.

The ministry has asked social media companies to ensure that the rogue messages do not go viral and at the same time also save information of all those people who create or upload such messages. The details of content uploaders can be shared with the law enforcement agencies as and when required, it added.

When contacted, TikTok spokesperson said, “We are actively working with the government to support them in their efforts to fight misinformation and proactively also working to elevate credible information related to covid-19 on our platform.”

Email query sent to Facebook elicited no immediate reply.

Earlier, industry body IAMAI, whose members include Google, Facebook, TikTok etc, said any request to remove content needs to come via proper legal notice.

Facebook, Twitter Instagram: Tips & Tricks To Keep Social Media Private

Protect Data

21 Feb, 2019

It seems counter intuitive – after all, social media helps you share your opinions and speak to a larger audience. But thanks to rampant identity theft and online stalking, there is a solid argument to be made to target your social posts instead of keeping them public. Karan Bajaj shows you how.

Modify Privacy Settings

21 Feb, 2019

Facebook has a dedicated section for privacy settings and tools (accessible in the Settings menu). In this section, you can choose who can see your future activity. For privacy, select Friends instead of Public. Also on the same page, you get the option to limit accessibility of your existing posts on the social network to only friends instead of everyone. You can also choose individual settings for items such as friend requests, email addresses access, phone number access and who can see your friends list. To step up your privacy, switch all these settings to ‘Friends Only’. We also recommend switching off access to search engines outside of Facebook.

Limit Info On Your Profile

21 Feb, 2019

By default, all the information in your profile is in the public domain. To change this, click on your profile picture on the top bar to view your profile. On this page, you can view all the information available to anyone who opens your profile page. Click the edit button (the small pencil icon) that appears inside the intro box and you can then customize your info. We recommend switching off all the items you want to keep private from prying eyes.

Hide Your Photos

21 Feb, 2019

Many regular Facebook users tend to upload a lot of photos to share with friends and family. However, you don’t want everyone who visits your profile to have access to all these memories either. One way to hide them is to delete them from Facebook after a few months. The other way is to edit the privacy settings for each photo album. Click on Photos > Albums. For any album that you want to limit access to, click the options button (the three dots on the right corner) on an individual album and choose edit. This will open the privacy settings for the album for which you can select only friends, family or only you.

Protected Tweets

21 Feb, 2019

Quite like Instagram, Twitter lets you hide your tweets from the world — this means they’ll only be visible to your existing followers and won’t show up in searches. You will also have to individually approve new followers from that point forward. To do this, go to the ‘Settings and Privacy’ section and look for ‘Privacy and Safety’. Here, you can switch-on the feature marked ‘Protect your Tweets’.

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