The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has told Facebook and Chinese video app TikTok to remove users found to be spreading misinformation about the coronavirus following concern about videos intended to mislead Muslims.
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.
he 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.