- The Indian government is monitoring over 2,500 social media accounts for allegedly spreading Chinese propaganda and disinformation.
- The accounts have been traced to Pakistan, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Russia, and China.
- The IT ministry had recently banned 224 Chinese apps in total alleging their activities are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India.
The Indian government is monitoring over 2,500 social media accounts for allegedly spreading Chinese propaganda and disinformation on the China-Indian faceoff in eastern Ladakh, according to an ET report.
These accounts that are allegedly active mainly on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have been traced to Pakistan, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Russia, and China. The report added that Pakistan topped the list with the most number of social media handles spreading anti-India content.
The government claims to have already taken up this contentious issue with the social media companies and has managed to block a few fake accounts which were peddling lies and disinformation. However, a large number of them continue to operate and are under the watch list.
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“Analysis revealed that the IP (internet protocol) address of the user was either in Pakistan, UK, Russia, or China. In some countries where social media is banned, it is being accessed through a virtual private network (VPN),” an official said.
“Many banned accounts reappear by changing handle names and details in the bio-data. In multiple cases, e-mail IDs and contacts numbers required for opening accounts on social networking sites were found identical,” the official added.
The IT ministry had recently banned 224 Chinese apps in total alleging their activities are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of the state, and public order.
India and China have been engaged in a tense border standoff along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh since April. Violent clashes with the Chinese troops in Galwan on June 15 had resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers.
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New Delhi accused PLA of blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive maneuvers, while conversations at military, diplomatic and political levels were in progress.
In December 2018, the IT ministry had proposed amendments to the IT Act, with an aim to curb the misuse of social media platforms and the spread of fake news. Among other things, the draft proposed that the intermediaries have to enable tracing out of the originator of information on its platform and share the information within 72 hours of government communication.
Further, upon receiving knowledge about any objectionable content in the form of a court order, or on being notified by the appropriate government or its agency, the intermediary shall remove or disable access to unlawful content in less than 24 hours.
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