Social media blockade to be lifted today | Daily News

Social media blockade to be lifted today

The blockade imposed on Facebook and other social media networks that is currently enforced will be lifted today, National Policy and Economic Affairs State Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said in Parliament yesterday.

He said false and malicious content was being spread through social media as anything can be said or spread through social media.

“Trolls and bots manipulate social media sites to spread false and inflammatory news in an apparent effort to stoke political and ethnic divisions on a large scale.

“Hence, it is difficult to control social media as news is spread so fast” he added.

Therefore, we were compelled to temporarily block social media to stop the spread of this type malicious and inflammatory news. Now the situation is settling,” he said.

Minister de Silva said it is vital to ascertain who these extremist groups are and an independent Presidential Commission should be appointed to investigate this incident. The Commission needs to investigate and determine how these extremist groups that fuelled this incident operate. Information released on social media should be done in a responsible manner.

He said extremists from both the Sinhala and Muslim factions should be identified and punished alike.

“We need to determine who is pouring patrol on the flames of racism. We are definitely not prepared to allow racist elements to once again bring doom to the country as we witnessed for 30 years.”

Therefore, he said it was vital to establish a special commission to conduct a comprehensive investigations to determine these sinister elements who are engaged in spreading racial tensions. They need to be punished irrespective of whether they are Sinhalese or Muslims. Facebook and other social media sites were temporarily blocked for 72 hours to prevent the youth from being instigated and directed towards violent reactions.

However, State Minister de Silva noted that now that the situation has been brought under control.This blockade would be lifted by Saturday.



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