As per the UP Police social media policy-2023 issued by the state police headquarters in Lucknow, the Uttar Pradesh Police has banned its personnel from using social media during duty hours, besides making or sharing clips of police officers dancing in uniform or in civvies and sharing confidential information related to policing and the police force, senior officers said.
In-charge of UP Police Social Cell, Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP), Rahul Srivastava said that the new social media policy for police officers had been revised taking cognisance of the massive use of social media platforms by police personnel.
He added their social media posts often triggered controversy that attracted action against them.
The social media policy was first issued by Uttar Pradesh Police in 2017 and later revised in 2018 but the recent revised policy was issued in a detailed manner after a gap of five years.
The ASP said the social media policy will apply to police personnel of all ranks. The instructions issued by the cadre control authority of Union Home Ministry related to social media use for IPS officers would also be followed by the police personnel.
He added that there were provisions of stern action against violators.
He said there were as many 26 points in the revised policy that mostly included ban on social media posts that maligned the image of the police force or defamed anybody.
The policy also restricted any live telecast of the training process, any complainant or victim. The policy also suggested that police officers must not share photographs of victims of rape or any sexual crime or of minors involved in crime.
The new policy also restrains police officers from making any social media post that hurts religious sentiments or is against any caste or community.
It restrains them from sharing their pictures on social media along with any person who has a criminal background.
The police officers are directed to share pictures of criminals on social media after blurring them.
Relatives of police officers are also restrained from sharing pictures of police uniform or firearms issued to officials and policemen are prohibited from sharing pictures of personal events.
Police officers are also restrained from displaying profile pictures on their social media accounts which is in support or opposition of any political party or incident.
They are restrained from joining WhatsApp groups which propagate messages against the state government or police force.
The police personnel have also been prohibited to log into government social media accounts from their personal mobile numbers. Only CUG numbers issued by the police department are to be used.