Kerala Police register first case against negative film review; FB, YouTube among 9 charged

The FIR, based on a complaint by filmmaker Ubaini Ebrahim, probes negative social media reviews of the recent Malayalam film Rahel Makan Kora

Representative image (Photo: IANS)
Representative image (Photo: IANS)


Two weeks after Kerala High Court directed the state police chief to have a closer look at vested interests making mischief, especially on social media, when new films are released, Ernakulam Central Police on Wednesday registered the first case on this count and charged nine entities.

Those charged include social media giants Facebook, YouTube and seven others, and the police has begun a probe.

The police registered the FIR based on a complaint by director Ubaini Ebrahim, who found that social media was flooded with negative reviews of his recently released Malayalam film Rahel Makan Kora.

Early this month, the high court acted on a petition by Mubeen Rauf, the director of Aromalinte Adyathe Pranayam, in which he stated his belief that his film created a negative impact owing to alleged foul play by vloggers, and sought action.

At this, the court made it clear that checks and balances need to be in place and ruled that "the state police chief, through the learned government pleader, will also inform this court as to if an individual or an entity can file a complaint against such activities, including unlawful and motivated ‘Review Bombing’; and the modus for such, leading to the manner of investigation and its conclusion, apart from other suggestions.

"It must, however, be specifically kept in mind by the state police chief that, what he is now being called to respond to, is regarding action only in the cases of motivated and calculated reviews made solely to extort and blackmail; and not those which are made bona fide," the court clarified.

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