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People concerned about the 'cyber volunteers' of the MHA

Cyber volunteers of the MHA; Hindutva Watch, an account that posted incidents of Hindu intolerance, violence, and nationalism

By Ground Report
New Update
People concerned about the 'cyber volunteers' of the MHA

Ground Report | New Delhi: Cyber volunteers of the MHA; Hindutva Watch, an account that posted incidents of Hindu intolerance, violence, and nationalism on Twitter, had been receiving dragging and abusive comments for long-time critical tweets of the government, but in April they were shocked when more than 26,000 accounts with more followers were closed.

According to Reuters, Twitter suddenly closed the account, no explanation or reason was given for this. This was done with dozens of stories that criticized the government. But the timing of this action was the most important.

These accounts were closed when the Home Ministry Office launched the Cyber ​​Crime Volunteer Program. The plan was to report illegal or illegal content under this program. The Home Office had said that voluntary citizens or good people, if necessary, exercise full confidentiality and report child sexual abuse, as well as material that damages law and order, community harmony, and the integrity of India.

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Now it is difficult for social activists, journalists, and other critics of the government to differentiate between trolls, the IT cell of the Bharatiya Janata Party, and cyber volunteers. These cyber volunteers are believed to number in the hundreds.

A spokesperson for Hindutva Watch said: “Twitter was an important tool for us to expose communalism, hate speech, fake news, and fake science that the right-wing is spreading. This is why we continue to be indecisive, trolling and threats, etc. What harasses the accounts that criticize BJP and RSS, calls them anti-national, and carries out a planned campaign to shut them down. "

At this time, Twitter says that any complaint about any post is analyzed based on Twitter's terms and conditions and that "any infringing material will be acted upon based on the various options available to us."

Swati Chaturvedi, who has written a book on BJP's social media strategy, says that the cyber volunteering scheme is bigger than silencing people. "It's a smart move because they can suppress dissent online and they don't hurt themselves," she says.

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According to Statista, there are more than 20 million Twitter subscribers in India. More than half of the population of India has access to the Internet and 300 million people use Facebook. More than 200 million people use WhatsApp, which is more than any other country. India, like many other countries, has recently enacted new laws to curb fake news and control content that criticizes the government. (Cyber volunteers of the MHA)

Anushka Jain of the Internet Freedom Foundation says the government's cyber volunteer program is the deadliest movement in history and could turn the country into a surveillance state. She says: "We already have laws against cybercrime, so it is not necessary. It is just cyber-surveillance and dangerous because it pits citizens against each other. There is no way to guarantee that." That it will not be used to create personal grievances. "

Jain compares it to the Stasi, the East German intelligence police. She says: "Without any prior verification, anyone can become a volunteer. There is no clear definition of what is anti-national. This program will make the Stasi the same intelligence police that it used to be in East Germany."

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