Kerala Police' social media guidelines go awry, women irked
Thiruvananthapuram: A set of guidelines the Kerala police posted on its Facebook page for a safe social media use attracted public outcry with its anti-woman nature. Sensing trouble, police removed the guidelines to save face.
It was in view of the increasing cybercrimes. Kerala police had shared a few tips to identify fake profiles.
One among the guidelines was to examine the friend list of Facebook accounts. If a Facebook account of a woman has over 4,000 friends or followers, the chances are very high for it to be fake. This statement of Kerala police annoyed women in the state and they were up in arms against the Kerala police’s gender sensitive stances.
The guidelines also stated that usually girls do not add mobile numbers in their Facebook account. If a girl’s account displays mobile number, it is likely to be a fake one. Finding more male followers and friends in a female FB account and vice versa should alert you on the authenticity the account.
“I feel it is baseless. The Kerala police presented a perception or opinion instead of a researched or data-supported statement. There are so many women, other than mainstream celebrities, who have got a fan base like Tik Tok or Reels stars, Youtube celebrities, influencers and so on. So many women and girls who don't even have a job appear on social media and have huge fans. What about them? Aren't they real?” asks Gopika Girish, a resident of Eranhipalam in Kozhikode.
She has also stated that due to privacy concerns both men and women may not add their contact number in social media. “But I have seen social activists and people more close to the general public adding their official number in social media. Are they fake?”
Soon after posting these guidelines on the official Facebook page of Kerala Police many women came out expressing their resentment. Jisha Elizabeth commented: “As per the fifth guideline, I am fake.” She ironically criticised the senselessness of Kerala Police while issuing such guidelines.
When the social media cell of Kerala police was contacted, an official, named Arun, admitted mistakes and said it was in good intention the guidelines were issued. “It was on the basis of an article we posted these guidelines. However, public perceived it in a different way and we have removed them. We will take care in our future posts to avoid such sensitive issues.”