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Bengal to train cybercrime officers to combat circulation of 'Fake News'

Bengal to train cybercrime officers to combat circulation of Fake News

Kolkata: In a bid to combat the menace of circulation of "fake news" that is considered to be the thrust area at present to maintain peace and harmony in the state, the West Bengal Police is all set to strengthen the mechanism to fight against the same by providing specialised training to the rank and file of those working round-the-clock in tracking and nullifying the adverse effect of cybercrime in the state.

All the police personnel who are experts in cybercrime detection and tracking of "misleading information" on social networking sites will be undergoing a week-long online specialised training programme to sharpen their skills in preventing untoward incidents due to the spread of rumour through social networking sites.

This comes when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee directed the police to take stringent measures against the circulation of "fake news" in social media after rumours were being spread about Durga Puja.

According to a senior officer of the state secretariat, usually, the "fake news" with "misleading information" are made on sensitive issues or by targeting a particular group or section of people in the society. As a result, it spreads like a "fire in a forest". So the endeavour should be to identify its origin and check its spread at the earliest.

Separate core groups comprising dedicated police officers have been formed for each police unit including the police districts. There are 12 police districts, 16 district police divisions and six police commissionerates apart from Kolkata. They are working round-the-clock in the cyber crime cells and most of the fake news in social media so far were being tracked by these officers, apart from a few that were being reported by common people. Recently two additional sub-inspectors, with background of science and computer, were posted at each of the cybercrime units.

"The officers had undergone training on cybercrime at the end. Now, the initiative has been taken to provide them knowledge on updated software along with new techniques related to cybercrime to maintain a pace with the development in technology. The training will be provided in batches," said the senior officer.

So far the police have arrested 260 people including BJP's Yuva Morcha State secretary Bappa Chattopadhyay were arrested and 550 people were "given warning" for circulating "fake news" in the past five months.

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