Stationary company goes to CID over hate campaign

Atlas Axillia Co., a Sri Lankan owned and operated stationary products company has filed a complaint with the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) over a hate campaign launched on social media.

Asitha Samaraweera, Managing Director of Atlas said that the most recent obstacle Atlas has faced is a hate campaign targeting the organization,which originated on social media. The campaign is driven by hate speech, fake news and fake accounts.

“On the 21st of April, the country was shaken by terror attacks that left us all grieving and in shock. Fear, anger and frustration were emotions we all felt as Sri Lankans. Post these horrifying attacks and while trying to recover as a nation, certain parties took advantage of the situation and launched defamatory campaigns against local businesses, to gain short term competitive advantage. Atlas, a company that follows strict corporate governance, with rooted values and principles and actively contributing to the national economy, has unfortunately been on the receiving end of one such malicious campaign. We have been unjustly accused of many baseless and defamatory claims.” he noted.

The company said that nearly 400 posts or comments promoting hate speech and fake news against the brand have been made by fake accounts on Facebook and the social media platform has taken action to remove them as per its policies.

A further 148 defamatory comments and posts have been made by people working in competitor companies and those with vested interests. Today, 50% of the negative comments and posts against the brand are being made by fake profiles on Facebook.

Additionally, the company noted that at grassroots level, there is a campaign by unethical parties with vested interest advocating traders and teachers to boycott Atlas products, and children are being asked to not use Atlas products or worse, being punished for using them.

The company confirmed that firm action has been taken against this hate campaign. “We have lodged a complaint with the CID and we will be sending a Letter of Demand to some of the individuals responsible for these attacks. Additionally, we have launched a campaign for Trade, Schools and the public toeducate them about the truth,” said Samaraweera adding that fake news circulating on messaging platforms such as ‘WhatsApp’ however cannot be monitored and traced.

Despite the challenges Atlas is facing today, the company says it remains confident about its business stability and growth.

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