Cabinet approves resolution to draft Bill to counter fake news online

Cabinet has approved a resolution to draft a Bill to counter fake news spread online, Cabinet spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said today.

He said that countering fake news is a step taken by a number of democracies.

The Legal Draftsman has been tasked with drafting the Bill in this regard.

Rambukwella said that the new laws will apply to social media as well.

Justice Minister Ali Sabry had this week said that freedom of expression cannot be abused.

He noted that countries like Singapore have a Prevention of Online Falsehood and Manipulation Act.

The Justice Minister said that even Malaysia and India have a controls over fake news.

Ali Sabry said that the new online laws in Sri Lanka will ensure National security and unity among communities and public privacy are protected and disinformation on development programs is discouraged.

He said that at the moment some people get away by spreading fake news.

The Justice Minister also said that of the social media profiles in Sri Lanka more than 15 percent are fake.

The Minister was speaking on Sunday at an online media briefing on the Port City Economic Commission Bill.

He noted that there was a disinformation campaign being carried out on the Port City Economic Commission Bill on social media. (Colombo Gazette)

1 COMMENT

  1. Cabinet approving a resolution to draft a Bill to counter fake news spread online is most welcome. We must fully accept what Justice Minister Ali Sabry has said that the abuse of freedom of speech will not be tolerated. The Muslims community too should fully realize this. What the President has stated – “That there are falsehoods circulated in an organized manner against him and the government” is quite true. As a Peace and Political Activist and Political Communication Researcher, I browse all the social media news publications in English and especially TAMIL on a daily basis to update myself as a professional on the current social and political trend in Sri Lanka. I also view all the TAMIL and SINHALA youtube channels too.
    The TAMIL youtube channels like Samugam News channel, TubeTamil News, Tamilan24, IBC TamilTV, BBC Tamil News, Jaffna Tamil TV, Tamilwin.com, lankasri.com , Seithy.com, “A” Media and Akilan.com (new youtube channel) are continuously, 24 hrs a day bombarding false news about HE. the President and the present government to the Tamil diaspora and the Tamil community/Tamil speaking people aboard and in Sri Lanka. IT IS TIME UP THAT THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD MAKE ARRANGEMENTS TO TRACK DOWN WHO THESE OPERATORS ARE AND TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION AGAINST THEM ACCORDING TO THE LAW TO PREVENT THIS FALSE NEWS/MEDIA ONSLAUGHT ON OUR GOVERNMENT.
    Noor Nizam – Peace and Political Activist, Political Communications Researcher, SLFP/SLPP Stalwart and Member “Viyathmaga”.

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