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April 25, 2019

Social media uses fake news as propaganda: Fawad

Top Story

April 25, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has said social media is a black hole that spreads fake news and in US, India and Pakistan, we saw use of fake news as tool of propaganda which is a huge challenge.

Fawad Chaudhry was speaking on the first day of a two-day international conference on “Fake news and facts in our region” organised by Institute of Regional Studies here Wednesday. The minister said that the Holy Quran also ordains to first verify news and even Pakistan Penal Code had provision against fake news. He said that fake notifications are distributed through social media in an organised manner. He said polio vaccination campaign was affected by fake news two days ago in Peshawar and thousands of people refused to administer the drops to their kids.

He said that during Tehreek-e-Labbaik campaign, the Ministry of Information could not control their fake news. He said that social media is much more ahead in spreading fake news. The minister said that in US, Singapore etc. the standards may be different. “I may consider a speech full of hate and others may not think so because each group has its own perceptions and world view,” he said. Fawad said the world should come up with concerted efforts to tackle the menace of fake news and hate speech. He said consensus in this respect is not easy to be achieved, but it is the only solution.

Fawad said the world is going to 6G and 7G and individual is going to be more powerful in dissemination of information. “How to keep a vigil on it as absolute power corrupts absolutely?” The minister asked audience to think over the issue and try to resolve it.

Dr Khalid Masud, former chairman Council of Islamic Ideology, said that there are two ways to handle it -- either to shun your responsibility or social media. He said that the truth is only the whole truth. He said partial truth is fake news.

Fidaur Rahman from the University College of Zhob referred to cases of Aasia Bibi, the Bahawalpur professor, Gojra carnage,

Imtiaz Gul chaired a session on our historical myths now taken as given truth. He said that he correct his distorted images created after reading history from authors from Sub-Continent after reading German and other authors. He said fake news come out of vested interest and commercial gains.

Dr Saeed Ahmed Rid from Quaid-i-Azam University said that history in the world was always subjective. He said that history of Sub-Continent was also communalised. After making Pakistan Studies as compulsory in Pakistan upto graduation, the history was further communalised. He also exposed pro-BJP historians. Prof Omar Turan from Middle East Technical University, Ankara, exposed centres of propaganda against Ottoman Empire in Europe.

Dr Rukhsana Qamber, President of IRS, said that we should check news and data before carrying. She said Turkey, KP and Sindh are different areas and there cannot be one truth about all.

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