• Monday, Jan 18, 2021
  • Last Update : 02:48 am

Battling misinformation requires educating social media users

  • Published at 02:41 pm November 21st, 2020
Social Media Facebook Twitter
File photo: Logos of social networking websites displayed on a mobile phone's screen, in Istanbul on September 30, 2020 AFP

A webinar on misinformation and freedom of expression was organized by Pen Bangladesh on Friday.

Speakers at a webinar said misinformation on social media will continue to spread if social media users are unable to evaluate information with reason and logic. 

They also said freedom of expression does not mean mindlessly spreading misinformation and malicious contents on social media.

The webinar on misinformation and freedom of expression was organized by Pen Bangladesh on Friday.

Pen Bangladesh is a society of Bangladesh-based writers, poets, publishers, editors, translators, journalists and academics, aimed at promoting literature and defending the freedom of expression in Bangladesh.

Nazrul Kabir, vice president of Dhaka Reporters’ Unity, said rationality is the key to fighting misinformation on social media.

“If the government wants to enact a law, it needs to prepare its citizens to follow the law. A significant number of people are misusing social media platforms,” he said.

If a social media user is not a rational thinker, they are likely to believe misinformation and circulate it on their social media accounts, he said. 

He also said people in this society need to learn the difference between freedom of expression and arbitrariness.

Shakil Ahmed, Ekattor Television's chief of news, said the social media is designed in a way that an individual can express their opinion in these platforms without  verifying anything. 

“We have a Digital Security Act for Bangladesh but we do not have any law that could question people who are living abroad and making malicious comments about Bangladesh,” he said.

In many countries where people get to exercise their freedom of expression, there are laws against people making any malicious comments about a community or country, he said.

Sohrab Hossain, joint editor of Prothom Alo, said the Digital Security Act often bars people from having access to information.  

“People who are in power right now are making laws like the Digital Security Act but when they were in the opposition they were fighting against censorships,” he said. 

He said people are self-censoring themselves on social media out of fear of getting arrested and freedom of expression cannot be practiced in this environment of fear. 

Milu Shams, literature editor of Daily JanaKantha, said information has become a commodity these days and companies like Facebook control information more than the states. 

Bangla Tribune Editor Zulfiqer Russell moderated the webinar.

Facebook 51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail