New Delhi: Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are increasingly being used to spread hate speech and incite violence. This poses a big threat to the upcoming elections, as well as the ongoing festivals.

According to India’s intelligence agency – Intelligence Bureau (IB), states like Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have been witnessing an increasing number of communal violence, fuelled by social media posts.

“During the festival, vigil would also be required over misuse cyberspace by miscreants to stoke communal passions by posting blasphemous and provocative material, which should be tacked by immediate initiation of blocking as per standard procedure,” the Intelligence Bureau said in its latest letter.

“In view of the forthcoming Assembly elections in some states, strict vigil would be required against nefarious elements, especially in Rajasthan, which has been witnessing an increasing number of communal incidents in the recent months,” IB letter to law enforcement agencies across India says.

Intelligence agencies have intercepted communication generated from Pakistan which has triggered a major law-and-order issue in some states. Also, hate messages have been circulated on social media to trigger communal violence during festival seasons.

There is proof that Pakistan-backed terror outfits contact local sleeper cells and ignite violence at the ground through social media.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh had also warned about this issue recently. “Terrorists pose a threat not only to a country but to the entire mankind. Today terrorism poses new challenges. You must have seen that it is continuously changing its face. Where terrorists indulge in barbaric and cruel acts, there social media networks have become a platform for contact points, coordination and made easy to spread their ideology,” Singh had said in Hyderabad.

The IB has also asked its men to give on-ground reports if anything spreading through social media can be dangerous for law-and-order during festival season and elections.

“Our officers in the field have been advised to promptly communicate any information likely to impact adversely upon law and order situation to State Police authorities,” IB added.