The Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday banned all social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp for one month in the Valley in order to prevent “anti-national and “anti-social elements” from spreading “inflammatory messages”.
Mobile Internet services have remained suspended in the Valley since April 19 following widespread student’s unrest.
The Home Department order in this regard read: “On careful examination of all relevant factors, it is observed that the use of social media platforms, which are being misused by anti-national and anti-social elements by transmitting inflammatory messages in various forms, are immediately required to be regulated/curbed”.
The order places a blanket ban on social networking platforms including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, WeChat, Qzone, Tumblr, Google+, Baidu, Skype, Viber, Line, Snapchat, Pinterest, Telegram and the like.
The order directed all internet service providers (ISPs) that any message or picture through these social networking platforms should be immediately banned.
The ban remains effective till further orders or for a period of one month, whichever is earlier.
The authorities had also blocked over 300 WhatsApp groups that, the government said, had been spreading rumors to stoke passions among the youth during the volatile situation in Kashmir.
The Home Department issued the order to this effect in the exercise of powers conferred under the Indian Telegraph Act, an official said in Jammu.