Mumbai

Troll patrol! App to combat hate-mongering, fake news

Constant vigilance: The app was launched at a day-long conclave organised by CJP.  

An app aimed at combating hate mongering, particularly on social media, was launched by Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) on Saturday. It enables users to report cases of hate mongering, with the CJP offering to help take the complaints to the concerned authorities.

The ‘Hate Hatao’ app was launched at a day-long conclave organised by the CJP, where hate mongering, fake news and other challenges related to new media were discussed. Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan, MP and writer Shashi Tharoor, former judge of Bombay and Hyderabad court Justice Abhay Thipsay, folk artist and Dalit activist Sambhaji Bhagat, news anchor and author Rajdeep Sardesai, actor Javed Jaffrey and Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Dr. Ashok Dhawale were present.

“Our mission is to create a committed band of peace volunteers on ground, who are trained to spot stages that build up to targeted violence and prevent its spill over into blood on the streets. The main purpose of this app is to enable people to report cases of hate speech, threats and hate crimes with evidence like screenshots, videos or pictures. The CJP will help taking such complaints to Press Council, National Human Rights Commission, National Broadcasters Association and other bodies,” Teesta Setalvad, secretary of CJP said.

The app will be available on Google Playstore from January 30.

“I am glad that in the 150th year of Gandhiji’s birth, CJP is launching the ‘Hate Hatao’ app as Gandhiji spent his whole life fighting hatred,” Mr. Sardesai said.

Discussing freedom of speech, Justice Thipsay said, “We need to understand that democracy is not just to safeguard the majority but to protect the fundamental rights of minority too. Social media has given people the freedom to express themselves but nowadays, people put up content without bothering to verify it. Social media has been misused in such a way that even court judgments are considered wrong if they get trolled.”

The event also included several panel discussions which discussed the transformation of society brought about by social media.

“Information communication technology has seen a great revolution in the last 10 years. However, social media has merely become a tool for the present government to use according to their will,” Mr. Bhushan said.

The discussion also covered the impact of social media on elections. “New media definitely has a big role in influencing people during elections as now it has a wide reach. However it is a concern that instead of using the platform for development, it is used by people to spread negativity,” Mr. Tharoor said. “There are people paid to circulate fake news about Opposition parties, especially during elections,” he said.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2020 10:54:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/troll-patrol-app-to-combat-hate-mongering-fake-news/article26039077.ece

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