Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Tuesday revoked the government’s ban on social media use that was imposed throughout the island nation after the April 21 Easter Sunday bombings that killed 253 people.
A statement from the government’s information department said that Sirisena had ordered to lift the temporary ban, which had been applied in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, reports Efe news.
In the brief statement, the head of the department, Nalaka Kaluwewa, said the government was appealing social media users to “be responsible in their usage of social media sites even though the ban has been lifted”.
“The decision to ban social media was taken immediately after the attacks. Now after analysing (the situation), the government is of the view that it can be lifted,” Kaluwewa told Efe.
“Further, we have to look at returning to normalcy and this decision (to revoke the ban) was connected to that as well.”
However, he warned that “who ever shares misinformation has to take responsibility for whatever they share”.
“Under the emergency regulations which are in force, the spreading of misinformation can be addressed and action can be taken against those who share such matter,” Kaluwewa added.
Immediately after the bombings, authorities declared a state of emergency on the island and blocked social media services and messaging apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber and Snapchat, arguing that such platforms were being used to spread misinformation and rumors across cyberspace to trigger violence. (IANS)
Pakistan is aggressively pushing sinister propaganda against India via ramping up cyber warfare on Twitter, a new report said on Monday.
According to tech startup Logically AI, unscrupulous agents from Pakistan spread misinformation via #GobackModi campaign on Twitter during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Chennai.
Using network analysis, the research team discovered there was a significant level of activity from Pakistan related to #GoBackModi.
This involved Pakistan-based accounts posing as Tamil and Marathi accounts, and accounts along with bots engaging with authentic tweets to boost their engagement.
“Social media has become a hotbed for spreading ‘fake news’. These accounts are generally operated through fake profiles created cross borders. The primary objective to spread misinformation and disinformation through these accounts is to disturb the civil discourse,” Lyric Jain, Founder of Logically, said in a statement.
“This is the second instance where Logically was able to discover fake accounts that trace back to Pakistani IP addresses. Prior to this, during general elections, we had busted fake news and accounts which also originated from China and Pakistan,” Jain added.
According to Twitter, the company is committed to the principles of openness, transparency and impartiality and no one is above its rules.
“We enforce our policies judiciously and impartially for all individuals — regardless of their political beliefs, professional position or background,” a Twitter spokesperson told IANS.
Giving a befitting reply to Pakistan’s cyber warfare, Netizens in India trended “DontGoBackModi” as the Prime Minister met Jinping in Tamil Nadu’s Mamallapuram.
Earlier in August, Pakistan admitted that 333 Twitter accounts were suspended for writing on Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370.
The handles were suspended by Twitter following the objection by the Indian authorities in view of false and provocative content being disseminated through the accounts.
Pakistan’s Dawn reported in August that some 200 Twitter accounts were suspended for apparently posting about Kashmir. The claim came from journalists, activists, government officials and fans of the military tweeting.
After Pakistan’s request, Twitter agreed to alert the Pakistan government before it suspends official accounts.
After abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution from Jammu & Kashmir on August 5, The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), public relations wing of the Pakistan armed forces, began spreading fake news related to Kashmir and sow seeds of discord among security forces and fuel hatred among citizens in India. (IANS)