Countering propaganda and fake news

Govt launches ‘Fake News Buster’ account to expose false reports

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has launched a Twitter account to “tackle and expose” fake news that is spread through social media, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) announced on Monday.

The account titled ‘FakeNewsBusterMoIB’ has been created on the instructions of Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry to fight the spread of false information.

According to a tweet by Chaudhry’s official account, the FakeNewsBusterMoIB page will be used to give the “official response” to “false propaganda” on social media in a timely manner.

The account (Twitter handle @FakeNews_Buster) will also be used to “identify the users who spread fake news and requests will be made to take action against them”, it said.

According to another tweet by PTI’s official Twitter page, the account will be used to counter “fake and negative propaganda” and “fake and negative news” and take action against the people who spread them.

The first post by the page launched today was a retweet of PTI MNA Maleeka Bokhari, who took to Twitter to refute reports that she had been appointed as the head of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).

“The objective of social media is information, education and knowledge sharing. It should be based on truth and should not spread #FakeNews and disinformation, to achieve ulterior motives,” read the accompanying text.

Responding to Bokhari’s tweet, Chaudhry earlier in the day said: “Without effecting [sic] freedom on SM [social media] we need to take strict action against fake news.”

The launch of the account comes a month after the information minister announced that a “unified” regulatory body for all media, including social media, would be formed.

Chaudhry said at the time that the role of the Pakistan Elec­tronic Media Regula­tory Authority and the Press Council of Pakis­tan had been review­ed and it had been decided that all the regulatory authorities would be merged into one body — called the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority.

Source: www.dawn.com

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