Ahead of the impending Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya case, WhatsApp is rife with rumours and misinformation. A message which has gone viral over the past few days states that with the upcoming Ayodhya verdict, new rules for public communication will come into effect.

The message states that all calls will be recorded, all call recordings will be saved, and social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook would be monitored, as would WhatsApp. It further states all personal electronic devices will be connected to systems in the ministry. The message then warns readers not to forward posts or videos which are critical of the government or the Prime Minister, and asserts that writing or sending objectionable messages of political or religious nature would constitute a crime, inviting arrest without a warrant.

The message has also been posted on Facebook.

ब्रेकिंग जरूरी सूचना

किसी भी तरह का गलत मैसेज भेजने पर होगी कड़ी कार्यवाई।

*अयोध्या फैसला कल से नये communication के…

Posted by Amethi Mobile News on Monday, November 4, 2019


UP police has confirmed via Twitter that the aforementioned message is a hoax. It is one of several such messages circulating in Ayodhya. On November 5, the Twitter account of Ayodhya police uploaded an image of a news report titled, ‘सोशल मीडिया के माध्यम से अशांति फ़ैलाने की हो रही है नाकाम कोशिश’ (Efforts to spread disharmony via social media rendered futile- translation). Ayodhya police tweeted with the hashtag #UPPAgainstFakeNews.

The news report tweeted by Ayodhya police specifically refers to the aforementioned message as fake. The report has been filed from Ayodhya, and refers to attempts being made via social media to spread rumours before the verdict. The report states that such efforts by mischief mongers have been neutralized by prompt action on the part of the police in the district, where several peace committee meetings among citizens have been organized.

Moreover, ANI UP has reported that the DM of Ayodhya has prohibited social media messages and posters relating to the Ayodhya dispute over concerns of disturbance to communal harmony. The prohibition will be in force till December 28, 2019.

It may be noted that the viral message, warning readers of surveillance of social media accounts and personal devices in light of the Ayodhya verdict, is a hoax.

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About the Author

Arjun Sidharth is a writer with Alt News. He has previously worked in the television news industry, where he managed news bulletins and breaking news scenarios, apart from scripting numerous prime time television stories. He has also been actively involved with various freelance projects. Sidharth has studied economics, political science, international relations and journalism. He has a keen interest in books, movies, music, sports, politics, foreign policy, history and economics. His hobbies include reading, watching movies and indoor gaming.