Visakhapatnam: A war of words between supporters of various political parties on social media over the past few months has intensified ahead of elections, and it appears that even personal attacks are not out of bounds or sacrosanct.
Cybercrime sleuths too are unable to take any action as there are no complaints from anyone.While someone calls Chief Minister N Chandrababu’s son Nara Lokesh as “Mudda Pappu”, while another person claims YSR Congress supremo Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy a corrupt politician.
Irrelevant, fake and obscene content is rampant on digital platforms. The Election Commission is watching this silently as political parties and candidates are not directly involved. The media certification and monitoring committees (MCMC) are concerned only about the content used for campaigning on the social media platforms.
Out of 222 complaints received from c-Vigil (citizen vigil) mobile app in the district, the returning officer disregarded 97 and found 125 cases correct till now. However, there were no complaints related to social media on the c-Vigil. This mobile app was launched by the election commission to curb violation of model code of conduct.
After the model code of conduct comes into force, there was only one complaint to the cybercrime department in the city so far. A woman contestant complained when she observed vulgar comments on the pictures that were posted on social media by some unknown persons using fake accounts. A case was registered and investigation is on.
Gajuwaka sitting MLA Palla Srinivasa Rao also complained to cybercrime department against the fake news on Twitter by some unknown person that he was leaving the party. However, the police did not register a case as it is non-cognisable. Other major offences on social media are not being reported and they cannot be taken up as suo motu.
According to Cyber Crime Inspector V. Gopinath, some of the extreme content cases were being voluntarily deleted by the social media platforms. Instead of filing complaints, the trolls of each party are posting similar content about the other party as a counter move.
Currently, cases cannot be filed for the false allegations over internet. Supreme Court of India had repealed section 66A of the Information Technology Act (IT Act) in 2015 as it violated the right to freedom of speech. Earlier, there was punishment for sending offensive messages over a mobile phone under this section. Still, some cases were filed in Kerala during 2014 elections. So, the Election Commission passed a circular on this.