In the wake of the recent exodus of people belonging to the North East from Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh following threats post the Assam communal violence, the centre on Friday asked relevant agencies to monitor social media web sites to filter out inflammatory and offensive content.
Cell phone operators have also been told to block all bulk SMSes and limit video messages to a maximum five people at a time.
With 16,000 people having left over the last three days, the central government was forced to react.
IBN Live quoted police sources as saying that efforts were on to trace anonymous SMSes, but admitted it was virtually impossible to control cyber space. The fact that doctored video clips can be put on the internet from anywhere in the world does not also help matters. According to analysts, what needed to be guarded against was the wrong campaign of hate.
The central government had identified a number of websites that hosted doctored photographs inciting violence, IBN Live said citing sources in the union home ministry, Mumbai Police and the Intelligence Bureau (IB). The IB and state police have been asked to monitor all content on the web and had even warned that web sites that continued to host offensive material could be banned.
Addressing the Parliament, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, "We want to send out a message to all those who want to jeopardise our unity that this House stands united and we will work together to control the elements who want to create trouble."