• Dhaka Sat, 28 MAY 2022,

“Young people need to identify disinformation, fake news”

Staff Reporter
|  06 Dec 2021, 18:12 | Update : 26 Jan 2022, 13:10
“Young people need to identify disinformation, fake news”
Social Welfare State Minister Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru attended the workshop as the chief guest.
Younger members of the Bangladesh community require identifying disinformation and fake news which have become prevalent across the society recently obstructing the free flow of quality information, participants said in a national workshop in Dhaka on Wednesday. 

Institute for Environment and Development (IED) organised the workshop that was attended by journalists, professionals, teachers, lawyers, development workers and trained 20 youths from Jashore and Mymensingh.

‘The most prioritised target audience of disinformation is the youth. They are a vulnerable population and it is important for us to make sure they can distinguish between what is authentic and what is fake’, Dhaka University Professor Dr Shantanu Majumder said in the workshop on combating digital disinformation held at the CIRDAP auditorium in Dhaka.

The impact of disinformation ‘is absolutely pervasive’ across the society, he said, adding that this can lead to massive security implications and result in social destabilisation.
Replying to a question about what to do when there is an institutional deficiency in providing authentic information, he emphasised that the youth should not feel powerless when it comes to tackling these challenges and that they should take the firm initiative as the nation’s future generation of leaders to fix the problem.

He emphasised the need for learning to discern for identifying genuine news.

Social Welfare State Minister Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru was attending the workshop as the chief guest. He said, “Fake news and disinformation are a severe deterrence to the progress of any nation, and it can act as a major threat to society if not dealt with now. So we need to take some immediate action and obviously, young people can play a special role against digital disinformation.”

The Minister said that during the COVID period revolutionary progress has been made in the communication sector. ‘We do a lot of important work online even when we are abroad. Bangladesh did not stop for a second in the pandemic period.” he added.

“Many people are involved in spreading disinformation on social media. In most cases, disinformation spread about religious issues. Everyone must work together to prevent disinformation.” the minister added.

Sania Akter, Assistant Professor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman University of Science and Technology; Jibonanondo Jayanto, lawyer and activist; Gita Adhikary, socio-economic specialist of Oxfam in Bangladesh; Md Zakaria, Senior Program Manager of The Asia Foundation, Nazmul Ahsan from Action Aid also spoke on the workshop, among others.

IED Executive Director Numan Ahmed Khan presided over the workshop and Tarique Hossain conducted the session.

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