The government will create a quick response cell to trace and eliminate any element of potential rumours on social media platforms.
The information ministry instructed the departments concerned to submit a draft plan in 15 days for creating the cell.Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu disclosed the initiative while addressing a view-exchange meeting on ‘Rumour: The Role of Mainstream and Social Media’ as the chief guest at CIRDAP auditorium in the city on Tuesday.
State Minister for Information Tarana Halim, Information secretary Abdul Malek and Daily Observer Editor Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury attended the function as special guests.
Prof Mofizur Rahman of the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism of Dhaka University presented the keynote paper at the meeting. Principal Information Officer Kamrun Nahar chaired the meeting organised by the Press Information Department.
Jatiya Press Club General Secretary Farida Yesmin, Nari Sangbadik Kendra President Nasimun Ara Haq Minu and director generals of Department of Mass Communication (DMC), Department of Films & Publications (DFP) and Bangladesh Betar attended the meeting along with senior journalists from different media organisations.
Addressing the function, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said it’s high time to filter the rumours on social media.
“BNP-Jamaat alliance and some fanatic Islamic groups are out to spread rumours on social media to create anarchy in the country ahead of the national election,” he said.They (the propagandists) are spreading false news and creating confusion, said the minister.
The BNP-led alliance is now spreading rumours about the trail of Khaleda Zia, he alleged, adding that people will resist such rumours.
Daily Observer Editor Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury said the government is formulating a law to prevent the misuse of the freedom of expression. But any hectic stance in formulating the law will raise questions among the general public, he said.
“We will deploy a 24\7 monitoring system to filter rumours from social media,” Information State Minister Tarana Halim said.
She also said some shady news portals spread rumours on the social media, calling upon the mainstream media to be more responsible to prevent the spread of rumours.
“I have already requested the Facebook authorities to adopt a separate policy to prevent fake news and rumours,” the state minister said.
Addressing the view-exchange meeting, the senior journalists said they always cross-check the information before releasing news items, adding that the mainstream media never spread rumours.
They also called upon the information ministry not to control the mainstream media in the name of preventing fake news and rumours.