Written by Nathasha De Alwis
12 Mar, 2018 | 8:49 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – “Sri Lanka does what the US can’t: Pull the plug on Facebook over hate speech, fake news.”
A headline on CNBC, one of America’s premier news outlets as it reported on the steps taken by the Sri Lankan government in a bid to stem the flow of hate speech and fake news.
The opening salvo of the CNBC article was that another country had joined the growing ranks of those saying Facebook’s content-filtering systems aren’t good enough.
It went on to note that the ban in Sri Lanka came into effect after several years in which critics have said Facebook and the government were not doing enough to prevent the spread of harmful posts.
In an emailed statement to CNBC, Facebook has stated that they have clear rules against hate speech and incitement to violence and work hard to keep it off their platform.
Further, it stated that they are responding to the situation in Sri Lanka and are in contact with the government and non-governmental organizations to support efforts to identify and remove such content.
It’s good that they banned facebook
I don’t think banning facebook will resolve any issues
The people who misuse it should be blocked, I don’t think the ban is a good thing
Since the ban was because of an issue we don’t have any problem, but we are a bit sad
We find it difficult without internet
If there is an obstruction to peace then it should have happened by now, because people still use it through VPNs
Chief Information Security Engineer of SLCERT, Roshan Chandragupta stated that people should think about how they can minimise such issues.
“We need to think about the content that we share, we need to consider whether what we share is truthful or whether it is hurtful to someone. So we need to avoid such instances.” – Roshan Chandragupta
The ban on social media and messaging services has also had an adverse impact on tourism as well as Internet-based businesses.
Chairman of the Federation of IT Industry in Sri Lanka, Dr Kithsiri Manchanayake stated that it is the government’s opinion that if they are to lift the ban, these social media sites must provide some sort of assurance to the government that they will take steps to prevent such things from occurring again.
Further, he stated that this is a great loss to the nation; there are tourists who come to the country as well as students from overseas.
“I spoke with the Facebook Asia Pacific director of policy who is based in India. He expressed his support and said they would work on it. By the end of today (March 12) they could announce the short term and long term plans that could be put in place for monitoring these feeds.” – Dr Kithsiri Manchanayake
Further, Dr Manchanayake said that this affects everyone in all the fields and that there is a target of reaching 5bn dollar trade in the IT sector by 2022.
“Bans like this will have a huge negative impact on these aspirations.”
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