Social media have responsibility in preventing rumours: Hasan

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Dhaka, July 31: Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Wednesday said social media, including Facebook and Twitter, have a responsibility in preventing rumours.“Most of the time, rumours are being spread from abroad using fake accounts of social media,” he told reporters at the Information Ministry.

“I have already talked to the authorities concerned of the United Kingdom and European Union (EU). They informed me that they were preparing laws or policies to take actions against those who spread rumours through social media and service providers,” Hasan said.

Noting that rumours are being spread across the country in a planned way, he said: “We were informed that rumour was firstly spread through a social media post from London, saying that heads of one lakh people have to be sacrificed in constructing Padma Bridge.

“Panic was created across the country spreading the post. As a result, a section of criminals suspiciously carried out attacks on innocent people and killed them. Cases were filed against them. Identifying the people involved in mass beating, actions are being taken against them”.

Hasan, also Awami League publicity and publication secretary, said later rumours were spread saying that there would no electricity across the country and then child lifters would steal kids.

Now, he said, rumours are being spread over dengue prevention, saying the use of Harpic and chemicals in washrooms will help prevent dengue. “On this way, a vested quarter is spreading rumours. But, we make people aware of these romours,” he added.

Citing an EU survey, the information minister said rumour is not only a problem for Bangladesh but a problem for many other countries, while about 80-90 percent people of EU countries think fake news is a social problem.

Urging people to remain alert against rumous, he said the government has already formed a 13-member committee in this regard.

The high level committee will sit together tomorrow to find a way to prevent rumous, Hasan said, adding the government is committed to taking stern actions against the people involved in spreading rumours.