Social media has responsibility in preventing rumors

Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud has said social media, including Facebook and Twitter, has a responsibility in preventing rumors.

“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 rumors through social media,” Hasan said on Wednesday.

Noting that rumors are being spread across Bangladesh in a planned way, he said: “We were informed that rumors were firstly spread through a social media post from London, saying that heads of 100,000 people need to be sacrificed in constructing the Padma Bridge.”

Hasan, also the Awami League’s publicity and publication secretary, said rumours were spread saying that there would be no electricity across the country and that child abductors would kidnap children.

According to him, rumors are now being spread over dengue prevention, saying the use of Harpic and chemicals in washrooms will help prevent dengue.

“In this way, a vested quarter is spreading rumors. But, we are making people aware of them,” he added.

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

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

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