Busting myths, spreading awareness: How Kerala police is using the digital platform against Covid-19
Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 14: In the midst of tackling the problem around the coronavirus, the Kerala police has been taking a lead role in dispelling rumours around the problem.
It must be noted that both the corona scare as well as the corona awareness has largely been through the media. In a bid to understand the impact of the social media especially in a digital state like Kerala, the cyber police has tightened its vigil around the social media since day one.
The cyber police of Kerala has kept a close watch on the spread of fake news relating to COVID-19. Further the Kerala police has used the social media effectively to create and raise an awareness regarding the problem and also give correct information on the security precautions that need to be taken to prevent the spread of the disease.
Over the past couple of weeks, the Kerala police has been quick to identify certain fake and misleading news and posts relating to the problem. 11 cases were registered across Kerala in this regard. The police swung into action and also arrested three persons in Kerala on charges of spreading fake news pertaining to the virus on the social media.
Further the Kerala police is constantly tracing people who have been forwarding misleading information. The stern and continuous action has acted as a deterred to those attempting to spread fake information and postiing unverified messages on the social media relating to coronavirus.
Taking the lead has been the social media cell of the Kerala police, which has advised citizens to either check with the health department or police to verify if any post is genuine or not. This is an important move considering Kerala is on the edge as more and more positive cases of coronavirus is on the rise.
As on date, the coastal state has a total of 22 positive cases, with 5,495 people under quarantine. This is excluding the three Covid-19 patients who have been cured and discharged.
With more cases emerging the Kerala government has waged an all out war against the dreadful virus. Almost all social media influencers are now giving out precautionary steps to check the spread of coronavirus. There are now two top trending videos on the social media relating to awareness regarding coronavirus put up by the Kerala police. Both these can be attributed to the social media cell led by Manoj Abraham ADGP of Kerala Police.
The first video has the typical signature "troll" touch of the Kerala police. It is narrated in the popular "Bellary Raja" slang, and which is influenced by the character played by Mammootty in the 2005 box office hit Rajamanikyam, The video features popular movie roles of Malayalam Cine Super stars- Mammootty and Mohanlal to Tamil stars Rajinikanth and Vijay.
Through a dubbed voice, the characters advise people on various precautionary measures to prevent the spread of Corona, which includes frequently washing hands, use of sanitizers and face mask, covering one's face while sneezing and coughing, and self-quarantine in case of any severe symptoms.
The second video dubbed with the voice of actor, Prem Nazeer, speaks about the importance of avoiding physical touch, to check the spread of the disease, and has been made in a typical style to appeal to the Malayalees, with an added touch of humour.
Both the videos became viral within a few hours of being uploaded and caught the imagination of all sections of the society. With the state being under a state of shut down, the video has assumed more significance and found more takers apart from being shared widely. In addition to this there are several posts which warn the citizens about fake posts and alerts apart from giving safety tips.
These posts have attracted a lot of traction in terms of views and numbers. Many posts have been viewed more than 13 to 15 lakh times. Moreover the social media intervention by the Kerala police has led to several citizens clarifying their doubts directly with the Health Department. Many have even visited the websites of the Health Department to get correct information relating to coronavirus.
The Kerala police has always taken the lead in using the social media to connect with the people. Over the past couple of years, the social media handles of the Kerala police have become very popular for its witty content and tongue in cheek responses.
The Kerala police is one of the most decorated and awarded police force in the area of digital technology and innovation. The Social Media Cell has in fact played a major role in building up the general image of the police and ensuring support for the community. It has taken various initiatives.
In fact it is one of the most poplar police force in the world on Facebook. It has more than 1.3 million followers and has more over 2.5 million followers on TikTok, Share Chat, Twitter and YouTube.
Over the years, the Kerala police have become the pioneers in proving that digital technology can be used very effetely in containing not only typical law and order problems, but also effectively handling disasters such as floods and epidemics.