A parliamentary body recommended that the information ministry take the step to enact a time-befitting law to take effective measures for the prevention of rumours and fake news on social media.
The committee also asked the ministry to invite the representatives of social platforms to the next meeting.
They made the recommendations Wednesday at the 10th meeting of the parliamentary standing committee on information ministry at the parliament building. Committee chairman Hasanul Haq Inu presided over the meeting.
When contacted, committee chairman Hasanul Haq Inu told TBS that a comprehensive management law should be in place to tackle the unwarranted contents in social media. That’s why recommendations have been made for the ministry to enact a law to tackle these content-based issues.
“Now we cannot hold discussions with the foreign owners of the various social media in absence of this law. That’s why we cannot take action against those who are spreading rumours and assassinating characters of women,” said Inu, adding: the new law would not hinder the freedom of expression or create a problem for social media users, it will only target the abusers.
On the other hand, human rights activist Nur Khan Liton expressed concern over the law recommended by the parliamentary body.
“I am concerned whether the government is devising any new way of harassing only the social media users through the law proposed by the parliamentary committee. The way the country’s citizens are now being harassed under the digital security act, I am worried people will face similar repression if this law is enacted,” he said.
Among other recommendations, the committee asked to submit a report on the activities of the Bangladesh Films and Television Institute at the next meeting. A three-member sub-committee was formed in this connection which will submit the report and future actions within the next two months.
The committee recommended preserving the information on the history and tradition of Bangladesh in digital format at the central data centre of the government. Besides, the committee suggested uploading all the books preserved at the Press Institute of Bangladesh on social media along with researching the movements for freedom between 1947 and 1971 period.
Other committee members including information minister Hasan Mahmud, Kazi Keramat Ali, Begum Simin Hossain, Saimum Sarwar Komol, and Mamota Hena Lovely were present at the meeting.