Monday, 20th May, 2019

Govt to punish those operating parody accounts in Facebook, Twitter

The government will punish those operating parody accounts of politicians and celebrities in social media including Twitter and Facebook.

The Metropolitan Police Crime Division is investigating parody accounts after the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology took a secretary-level decision on January 1 and wrote to the Home Ministry requesting it to identify the individuals who vitiate social harmony by operating fake accounts, and take action against them.

Hello Sarkar, the government platform to register complaints, had received a complaint that warned the country will face a frightening situation if those who operate parody accounts in the social media including Twitter and Facebook are not identified and punished in time.

Hello Sarkar forwarded that complaint to the Law Ministry which in turn forwarded it to the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology saying it does not come under the Law Ministry.

“We have written after finding that the issue of spreading false information in the name of others is serious,” Under Secretary at the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology Rajan Paudel told Setopati. “There are parody accounts in the name of prime minister to top leaders now. We are doing this as we feel that taking action against a few will send a message to others.”

Parody accounts of PM KP Sharma Oli, former PMs Sher Bahadur Deuba and Baburam Bhattarai, and leaders like Ram Sharan Mahat and Gagan Thapa are famous in Twitter.

Twitter allows operation of parody accounts by clearly mentioning it is a parody/fake/fan/commentary account in the bio, and if the account name is not the exact name of the subject of the account.

But Under Secretary Paudel argued that does not mean one can spread false information about others. “One cannot spread false information about others. The Metropolitan Police Crime Division, Teku is conducting investigation in accordance to our letter.”

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