The Mumbai police will use a social monitoring tool provided by SocialAppsHQ at their newly launched social media cell, its makers Shimply Software said.
SocialAppsHQ is a social media marketing platform which allows customers to listen and monitor for keywords across the web.
Customers, in this case the Mumbai police social media lab, can analyse sentiments, identify behavioral patterns, influencers and advocates and generate real time alerts, the company said.
Shimply Software, the parent company of SocialAppsHQ is also behind Navigale , an Android app which allows one to find people with similar interest nearby and Optimimo, an A/B testing platform for mobile developers.
In March this year, the Mumbai police set up a center to monitor social media activities of people, once again sparking fears that the police and the government may persecute innocent citizen on the Internet.
Police Responsibly? The Back Story
In India, the police has been accused of abusing their powers many times. Privacy advocates and proponents of free speech fear that the police can’t be trusted to use such tools responsibly. Recent incidents bolster their argument. Earlier, two girls from Mumbai who had posted on Facebook against the Mumbai Bandh, that happened following the death of Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray, were arrested under section 66-A of the IT act. The police made this arrest citing public interest and security of the girls as the reason and later released them.
From our earlier coverage
Similar incidents have also occurred in the past in other states. In October, a small scale industrialist was arrested by the police, under section 66-A of the IT act, for posting a comment against Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti Chidambaram.
Another similar incident occurred in Mumbai last year, when police conducted midnight raids at the house of two cabin crews from Air India for comments made by them on Facebook. The two were kept in jail for 12 days in jail for interrogation and they lost their jobs.
Following such indiscriminate use of ‘Section 66-A of the IT Act’ by the police, the central government has issued guidelines to all law enforcement personnel that an approval from a high ranking police officer must be sought before registering complaints under controversial section 66 (A) of the Information Technology act.