Social media has become increasingly popular all across the world as it has made the interaction between people a lot easier. But the ease by which fake news is generated and spread through digital social networks is a matter of concern for the society. In order to curb fake news on digital media, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting, Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan has recently said that a committee of the Ministry of Information has been formed to propose changes in laws related to these digital platforms.
Dr. Firdous was speaking to a meeting held with Senate Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage which was chaired by Senator Faisal Javed. Information Minister said that the committee will revise laws related to tackling fake news on social media or any other mediums and posts/News that are meant for character assassination of individuals on different media platforms.
The committee is expected to send its report to the Senate body by the end of this month. The changes in law proposed by the committee would be passed as legislation from Parliament with consensus. Dr. Firdous further said;
“There is no doubt that the media is one of the most important pillars of the state. But the media had transitioned from print to electronic and now to social media, and the ease with which fake news is generated and spread was a matter of concern for the society.”
Dr. Firdous also stated that freedom of media is important for transparent transmission that is spread to the masses but the responsible role of media should also be ensured. She stressed that people should avoid character assassination of any individual on social media.
She also expressed concerns that with the rise of social media, a vacuum has been created and national interest and cultural values were undermined.