Fake news: report it, don’t share it, urges PM and government

PHOTO: PM Prayut urges people to report fake news, not share it. (via onpolicy.org)

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha is urging people to report fake news rather than share it, especially regarding Covid-19. He says that misinformation shared online through social media is causing confusion in the residents of Thailand and people should help to weed out bad information so facts are more clear and easier to find.

The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society has a division specifically formed to combat the influx of fake news during the pandemic and to attempt to minimise the harm caused by the disinformation. The Anti-Fake News Centre says that just in one week between January 14 and January 20 they parsed about 11 million messages that could contain fake news.

They flagged 116 unique bits of content that were shared in 231 messages as needing closer inspection. 30 of the 66 that have been examined in detail so far were confirmed to be legitimate news stories or information and not deemed to be misinformation. 21 individual items were specifically related to Covid-19.

The spokesperson for the Office of the Prime Minister said that awareness campaigns by the Anti-Fake News Centre are working, and have encouraged people to be more mindful of social media misinformation. They said that the ratio of real news to phony information has been increasing.

People should apply critical thinking to things they see on social media and verify that they are true before sharing them online says the spokesperson. They ask that questionable content be reported to the Anti-Fake News Centre so that relevant agencies can be consulted to confirm or debunk the information.

The government warns that there is still a concerted effort to spread misinformation about Covid-19, with pandemic-related fake information increasing recently. Groups have been actively promoting misinformation, trying to create confusion or misunderstanding regarding Covid-19, vaccines, variants, and other topics related to the virus.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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