Internet services suspended in Hooghly district to stop the spread of fake news
Hoogly District Magistrate Yeluchuri Ratnakara Rao on Wednesday suspended internet services in Chandennagore and Srerampore sub-divisions after receiving information that some people were spreading fake news which could lead to violence in the region.
"Whereas the information has been received that some anti-social/miscreants and unscrupulous persons are indulging in spreading fake news through WhatsApp groups and other social media platforms in Srerampore and Chandennagore Sub-divisions of this district and that internet facility, may be misused by the mischievous elements for possibility of spreading rumors and causing violence throughout the district," a letter from the Hooghly District Magistrate read.
"And whereas in view of the recent events there is apprehension of grave risk of these kinds of mischievous and unlawful activities are spread if the normal broadband internet services of the 'intermediaries' as defined in the IT Act, 2000 continue through services freely. And whereas the Constitution of India guarantees freedom of expression of Indian citizens but at the same time allows for reasonable restrictions on the same," he further said.
The District Magistrate also said that "no restriction" is being imposed in voice calls and SMS and newspapers, hence communication and dissemination of knowledge and information is not being stopped in any way.