Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today gave directives to the deputy commissioners (DC) to take immediate steps to prevent the spread of rumours and fake information through unregistered portals and social platforms.
The minister disclosed this to reporters while replying to a query after exchanging views with the DCs on the last day of the three-day Deputy Commissioner Conference at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital.
Information and Broadcasting Secretary Md Humayun Kabir Khandaker was present in the news briefing.
Hasan said the registrations of 162 online news portals, online portals of 169 dailies newspapers, online portals of 15 television channels and 14 IPTVs have been given till now and the DCs has been informed o it. The rest all are unregistered, he added.
He said there are many online portals, IPTVs and YouTube channels at the district level which have no registration and the persons who are working for those identify themselves as journalists. Very often, they spread rumours and publish fake information through those platforms, he said.
“It is a big challenge,” added Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary.
The minister said the DCs have been advised to inform the rumour prevention cell of the ministry for taking actions against those who spread rumours or create confusion or publish fake or wrong news with the aim of creating instability in society through unregistered portals. The DCs are also advised to circulate real information immediately, he added.
He said it needs time to take action when rumours spreads as there is a process and it has to be reported to the BTRC.
Replying to a query, Hasan said the government works with the administration and the political part and the administrative part of the government are linked and have to work together. The government will implement its programmes through the administration and the AL government has never politicized the administration and will not do so in the future, he added.
The minister said those who have become DCs or divisional commissioners or those who have become secretaries have been posted on the basis of merit through SSB and following other procedures. “So, we never politicized the administration rather in the regimes of Ziaur Rahman, Begum Khaleda Zia, Sattar and in the tenure of Ershad the administration was politicized,” he added.
On the election issue, he said no discussion was held over the polls and the government doesn’t organize elections. The Election Commission organizes the polls and the commission will give directives to the DCs, if necessary, he added.