Fake news, social media are destroying people’s cultural and social values: Shibli

Fake news, social media are destroying people’s cultural and social values: Shibli

Fake news, social media are destroying people’s cultural and social values: Shibli

Minister for Science and Technology Shibli Faraz. Image: File

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ISLAMABAD: Minister of Science and Technology Senator Shibli Faraz has said that the Electronic Crimes Act Amendment Bill and the Elections Act Amendment Ordinance are in the best interests of all.

In an interview with a private news channel, the Minister stated that laws should be based on ground realities.

He claimed that fake news and social media are destroying people’s cultural and social values by sowing discord in society.

According to the minister, everyone has the constitutional right to express themselves independently, but they should not be used against one another.

Earlier on Sunday, Federal Law Minister Farogh Naseem announce that a presidential ordinance has been issued according to which fake news will now be an unbailable criminal offence with imprisonment of as many as five years.

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In a press conference, the law minister said that an amendment in the existing Pakistan Electronic Crime Act (PECA) has been drafted by Babar Awan, adding that media has gained a significant role in modern times and journalism is the state’s fourth pillar.

“Fake news was spread on the premier’s personal life, former chief justice Gulzar Ahmed was subjected to lewd language and now divorce of the first lady is being run,” he said. “The new law does not infringe on any liberty. Media is free to criticise but it should not spread fake news.”

Read more: Supporting terrorists, spreading fake news: Pakistan hits back at India in UN

This act is not in conflict with the constitution, adding that nowhere in the constitution it is permissible to spread fake news.

“Fake news adversely impacts society. To bar fake news it was important to bring this legislation. With this ordinance, fake news will become an unbailable offence, with imprisonment of five years,” he said.

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The law minister said that the courts will be mandated to wrap up the trial in six months and if the extended relevant high court can explanation on it. “If the judge could not satisfy the high court with his answer, action can be taken against them,” he said.

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