MNA National Desk: Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud on Saturday said time has come to think globally and work together on how to deal with fake news and rumors on social media platforms through establishing an ‘Internet Ombudsman’ as freedom of media and accountability are equally important.
“We need to discuss it deeply. Together, we’ll work out how the unedited platforms (social media platforms) can be brought under rules and regulations,” he said adding that the government will take a decision in consultation with stakeholders in the media industry.
The Information Minister made the remark while addressing as the chief guest at the Annual District Correspondents’ Conference 2019 of United News of Bangladesh (UNB) at its head office in the city.
As UNB Editor-in-Chief Enayetullah Khan proposed establishing an Internet Ombudsman, the minister supported it saying there are some rules and regulations; and technologies which are not adequate to deal with rumors and fake news.
Stating that anybody can spread rumors from abroad using any ID, the Information Minister said it needs to be discussed globally when it comes to creation of Internet Ombudsman in Bangladesh to deal with rumor and fake news on social media platforms.
The Information Minister said the government wants to take Bangladesh’s media freedom to a level of Europe, continental Europe and the United Kingdom; and at the same time, the government wants to see accountability at the same level as seen in Europe and the UK.
“State, society and everybody will be benefited if we see synchronization between media freedom and accountability,” Hasan Mahmud said.
The Information Minister said the internet has opened a wider window for all though the social media network has emerged as a big platform for spreading rumors and character assassination of anyone.
The minister said the government is working to implement the 9th wage board for journalists.
Former Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique, Honorary Professor of its Mass Communication and Journalism Department Dr Shakhawat Ali Khan, Additional Press Secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office Nazrul Islam and Deputy Head of Corporate and Compliance Affairs of Cosmos Group spoke at the inaugural session.
UNB Chairman Amanullah Khan and online Editor of Channel i Zahed Newaz Khan were also present on the occasion, reports UNB.