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Editors Guild of India Demands Probe After Webinar Gets Disrupted by Spammers’ Obscene Content


Image for representation.

Image for representation.

Calling it a “blatant attack on freedom of speech”, the EGI has demanded the Cyber Crime Cell to investigate the matter and book the hackers.

  • News18.com New Delhi
  • Last Updated: February 12, 2021, 19:42 IST
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A webinar organised by the Editors Guild of India (EGI) was on Friday disrupted within 10 minutes of its beginning after multiple spammers joined it and started posting obscene videos and messages. The virtual seminar on “Reporting from Red Zones” was scheduled for 3 pm on February 12 via Zoom to discuss experiences of those reporting from Naxal-affected areas.

The speakers included journalists Malini Subramaniam, PV Kondal Rao, Milind Umare, Tameshwar Sinha, Faisal Anurag, and Purnima Tripathi, according to a statement tweeted by EGI after the incident.

“EGI zoom webinar on “Reporting from Red Zones” subjected to relentless disruption by cyber attackers, who clearly did not want the speakers’ voices to be heard. Multiple encroachers posted obscene messages and videos. Webinar called off within 10 minutes,” the EGI tweeted.

Calling it a “blatant attack on freedom of speech”, the EGI has demanded the Cyber Crime Cell to investigate the matter and book the hackers.

“The guild is shocked and disturbed by this unprecedented attack by those who clearly did not want the speakers’ voices to be heard. Naxal infested areas have been subjected to some of the most horrifying and gruesome instances of state excesses. The webinar speakers have been at the forefront of chronicling the conflict and the human rights abuses over the last few decades. The Guild sees this as a blatant attack on freedom of speech and demands that the Cyber Crime Cell investigates this attack on free speech and book the guilty,” the EGI said.

Explaining the incident, the EGI said, “The meeting host tried shutting down the window of each such guest, but the Guild said that the number of such disruptors kept increasing. Soon, spammers started posting obscene messages on group chat as well as shared screens with pornographic content and abusive language. Eventually, the meeting had to be ended without any of the guest speakers getting a chance to speak.”





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