Home / Politics / Policy /  Social media giants urged to crack down on fake news

New Delhi: The Union home ministry and the Department of Telecom Thursday urged global social media giants to take adequate measures to help improve India’s national security.

Home secretary Rajiv Gauba with DoT officials met representatives from Google, Twitter, WhatsApp and other social media platforms to discuss concrete steps to check spread of rumours and messages inciting unrest, cyber crimes and other activities that could be detrimental to national security, the ministry said in a statement.

Mark Zuckerberg-owned Facebook and Instagram have also been asked to install systems for prompt sharing of information sought by the law enforcement agencies for investigation purposes, officials said.

“The Union home secretary asked them to take concrete steps to ensure a robust and effective system for preventing misuse of their platforms for activities detrimental to national security," the home ministry official quoted above said.

A number of cases have been highlighted in the recent past where social media platforms were used to spread hate messages and rumours inciting violence, including against women.

However, internet giants, most of them headquartered outside India, have been reluctant to share customer details and message trails citing privacy issues.

While the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) says India recorded 9,622, 11,592 and 12,317 cases of cybercrime in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively, experts say this accounts for merely 1% of the cybercrimes that actually occur in the country.

“These figures do not represent the ground reality. There is massive under-reporting of cybercrime cases in India and at present, these numbers represent just 1% of actual incidents," said Pavan Duggal, a cyber law expert.

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