Kerala Police’s social media guidelines go awry, irritating women

Thiruvananthapuram: A set of guidelines posted on the Kerala police’s Facebook page for safe social media use sparked public outrage due to its anti-woman nature. Police, sensing trouble, removed the guidelines to save face.

It was due to the rise in cybercrime. Kerala police had shared a few pointers for spotting fake profiles.

One of the guidelines was to look through the friend list of Facebook accounts. If a woman’s Facebook account has over 4,000 friends or followers, the chances are that it is a forgery. This statement by Kerala police irritated women in the state, who were outraged by the Kerala police’s gender sensitive stances.

According to the guidelines, girls typically do not add mobile phone numbers to their Facebook accounts. If a girl’s account includes a mobile number, it is most likely a forgery. Finding more male followers and friends in a female FB account, and vice versa, should raise your suspicions about the account’s authenticity.

“It appears to me to be without foundation. Instead of a researched or data-supported statement, the Kerala police issued a perception or opinion. Other than mainstream celebrities, there are many women who have a fan base, such as Tik Tok or Reels stars, Youtube celebrities, influencers, and so on. So many women and girls with no jobs appear on social media and have a large following. So, how about them? Isn’t it true that they exist?” Gopika Girish, a resident of Eranhipalam in Kozhikode, inquires.

She has also stated that due to privacy concerns, both men and women should avoid posting their phone numbers on social media. “However, I have seen social activists and people closer to the general public post their official phone number on social media. Are they real?”

Many women expressed their displeasure after these guidelines were posted on the official Facebook page of Kerala Police. “I am a fake, according to the fifth guideline,” Jisha Elizabeth said. She ironically chastised Kerala Police for being so callous in issuing such guidelines.

When the Kerala police social media cell was contacted, an official named Arun admitted mistakes and stated that the guidelines were issued with good intentions. “These guidelines were posted in response to an article. However, the public interpreted it differently, so we removed them. We will be more careful in future posts to avoid such sensitive topics.”

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