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Coronavirus: Social media users, news portals asked to 'delete,' 'fix' posts to prevent rumours

  • Published at 10:44 pm March 10th, 2020
Social Media
Representatioanl photo: Bigstock

'We are closely monitoring everything and working at the grassroots level as this is a very sensitive issue'

In a bid to stop the spread of misinformation, rumours, and propaganda regarding the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, law enforcement agencies have asked a number of social media users and news portals to "delete" and "fix" their posts and stories.

While talking to Dhaka Tribune, Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Md Nazmul Islam of DMP's Cyber Security and Crime Division said: "We called around 20 to 25 social media users and online news portals to correct the misinformation that they posted regarding the deadly virus. They were asked to delete and fix their posts and stories regarding coronavirus.

"We are closely monitoring everything and working at the grassroots level as this is a very sensitive issue."

Meanwhile, Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader urged all not to spread panic in the country over the global coronavirus outbreak.

Asking people to remain alert in this regard, the minister also said the government has taken all precautionary measures to stop the spread of coronavirus in the country.

With the confirmation of the first confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Bangladesh, people took to different social media platforms to express, comment, and share their concerns over the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. 

Thus, in a bid to prevent perpetrators from spreading rumours, false information, and propaganda regarding coronavirus, law enforcement agencies have started monitoring online content.

A group of people are always trying to create chaos and unrest in the society by spreading rumours over various issues, said multiple law enforcement officials.

Members of the Cyber Security and Crime Division of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) are assisting all the other law enforcement agencies of the country to stop the spread of misinformation amid the ongoing worldwide crisis, they added.

While talking to Dhaka Tribune, Sohel Rana, assistant inspector general (media, PR) of Police Headquarters, said: "We urge people not to spread rumours. However, if anyone still tries to create public outrage by spreading misinformation and false news, strict action will be taken against them.

"I would request our citizens to call our national helpline number 999 or notify their nearest police station when they come across any rumours or propaganda regarding coronavirus." 

Echoing the same, Lt Colonel Sarwar-Bin Kashem, director (legal and media wing) of RAB, said that they have already instructed all their battalions to monitor online content to prevent the spread of rumours and propaganda about this issue.

"Strict action will be taken against those who will be found involved in spreading rumours and propaganda over the coronavirus crisis," he added.  

Director of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora said that three patients, who have already been infected with coronavirus, are now stable.

On Sunday, the IEDCR confirmed the first three coronavirus cases in the country. Two of them, both men, have returned from Italy recently. The other patient is the wife of one of the patients.

According to Worldometre, which compiles worldwide coronavirus data, the death toll reached 4,089 in the outbreak of the deadly virus that has spread in 115 countries and territories, with more than 116,131 cases of infection.

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