friday, 7 june of 2019

Fake News

Sri Lanka proposes new law on fake news

The Sri Lankan government proposed a new law with a five-year jail term as well as a fine of $1 million rupees to combat the spreading of fake news and hate speech.

This proposed legislation comes in the wake of the Easter attacks where misinformation was spread leading to a nine-day ban on the use of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

This law was also proposed to address the use of social media to spread hate speech against different ethnic groups in Sri Lanka, where tensions run high after decades of war.

The government presented the heightened control of social media as a response to the use of these platforms to create or incite violence. The attacks in April and the violence in May have been traced at least in part to comments on social media and sharing misinformation regarding the attacks. In addition, mobs have been reported as using social media to organize their attacks against minority groups.

The Sri Lankan government’s move to address fake news follows after Singapore passed laws to combat fake news last month.

(Published by Jurist Org, June 7 2019)

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