Ludhiana police to tackle fake news, rumours through WhatsApp groups - Hindustan Times
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Ludhiana police to tackle fake news, rumours through WhatsApp groups

By, Ludhiana
Feb 25, 2023 12:07 AM IST

Commissioner of Ludhiana police Mandeep Singh Sidhu said that the police are using technology to make people aware about the situation as fake news do spread very fast on social networking sites

The Punjab Police have formed WhatsApp groups to tackle fake news and rumours doing the rounds on social networking sites, instructing 300 station house officers across the state to spread information about good works of the force among the people through the network.

The Ludhiana police have provided mobile numbers to 300 SHOs of police stations across the state and asked them to create at least one broadcast list of as many as 250 people of their respective areas and to release the facts and good works of police so that it reaches people within minutes (Getty images)
The Ludhiana police have provided mobile numbers to 300 SHOs of police stations across the state and asked them to create at least one broadcast list of as many as 250 people of their respective areas and to release the facts and good works of police so that it reaches people within minutes (Getty images)

The police have provided mobile numbers to 300 SHOs of police stations across the state and asked them to create at least one broadcast list of as many as 250 people of their respective areas and to release the facts and good works of police so that it reaches people within minutes.

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The post would reach at least 75,000 people across the state within minutes.

Commissioner of police Mandeep Singh Sidhu said that the police are using technology to make people aware about the situation as fake news do spread very fast on social networking sites. The police are getting good results out of it. They keep updating their Facebook and Twitter accounts to provide information to the people.

The police used the network for damage control after Waris Punjab De chief and radical preacher Amritpal Singh, along with his followers, forced police to release his aide Lovepreet Singh alias Toofan following a violent protest in Ajnala.

The police released a video through their network in which a senior police officer said that the police did not take action in respect of ‘Bir’ of Shri Guru Granth Sahib, while followers of Amritpal assaulted unarmed men.

The messages and information would that would be distributed among the public will follow a hierarchy level on two WhatsApp groups.

A senior police official of Ludhiana, on the condition of anonymity, said that the police personnel have been provided new numbers and asked to avoid making calls and numbers public.

The SHOs have been asked to make a broadcast list of prominent people and to send them the messages which they would get in their official WhatsApp group.

According to police officials, a team would keep tabs on fake news and rumours going around on the internet. After verifying the matter, the police officer would release their side of the story on the official WhatsApp group of all commissioners of police, senior superintendents of police, who would then share the information in the another WhatsApp group of SHOs. The SHOs will further release the information in the broadcast list.

An SHO in the city area said that within no time, the information would reach the public and they would share information on their own WhatsApp groups and social networking sites.

The SHO said that the habit of people of sharing the information quickly on their social media will help the police in making their posts viral, as the internet is available with every mobile phone user these days.

Another SHO, on the basis of anonymity, said that people don’t know the person who has sent the news to them, but they share the same within no time.

“As our private numbers are added in various WhatsApp groups of locals, we can see the same post shared in the groups by multiple people within minutes,” he added.

Apart from this, the police department has their own pages on social networking sites in all districts, with millions of followers.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Tarsem Singh Deogan is a senior reporter at Ludhiana. He has 16 years of experience in journalism. He has covered all beats and now focuses on crime reporting.

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