Facebook & Twitter are not Cooperating with the Govt to Stop Fake News on Social Media

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Friday revealed that social media giants Facebook & Twitter were not cooperating with the authorities regarding the spread of fake news on social media through unverified accounts.

FIA officials revealed this while briefing Senate’s sub-committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication which met with convener Kalsoom Perveen in the chair here on Friday.

Facebook & Twitter are not Cooperating with the Govt to Stop Fake News on Social Media

Committee met to take up the complaint lodged by the committee chairperson, Senator Rubina Khalid, regarding fake tweets and Facebook posts about the recovery of huge quantity of gold from her house.

During the last meeting of the committee, on the orders of convener Senator Kalsoom Parveen, those who were involved in spreading the news were brought into the meeting to explain this act.

A professor from an Islamabad based university, who also retweeted the news, regretted his behavior and explained that he forwarded the news as a joke.

Director of the National Response Centre for Cyber Crime (NR3C) informed the committee that the social media accounts of the main initiator of the news against Senator Rubina Khalid had been verified and all necessary measures were being taken to punish them.

The official said that FIA received a complaint on July 16, 2019, with respect to Senator Rubina Khalid and was transferred on the same day to CCRC Islamabad. The news was spread from three social media account including Dua Bhutto, Khubab Ahmad, and Asad Younas Tanoli and was further shared from nine accounts at the same time. However, all these accounts were not verified. Investigation revealed that through Face book account Khubab Ahmad the news was shared on July 9, and was further shared from Dr Anwar Iqbal with other facebook users.

FIA summoned Dr Anwar Iqbal and he refused to come and apologized while saying that it was share mistakenly. Dr Iqbal also apologized before the committee. Committee convener said that a respected parliamentarian was disgraced through fake news. The committee also sought the details of Dua Bhutto fake account.

They said the Twitter and Face book administrations had been approached with the details of accounts involved in cyberbullying and fake propaganda, and their replies were awaited.

FIA official said that Twitter was already not providing information while facebook is also not cooperating especially after August 5. Earlier FIA got a reply in six-seven weeks. Kalsoom Perveen said that 80 percent news on social media is fake.

He told the house that NR3C has 15000 cases pending for which only 50 investigating officers have been deployed. “There are 15 cybercrime centers all over the country with the staff of just 130 personnel which makes it difficult for NR3C to function promptly”, he added.

It was revealed that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) has all facilities and could reach data. The meeting was chaired by Kalsoom Parveen and attended by senators Dr. Ashok Kumar and Dr. Ghous Muhammad Khan Niazi along with the officials of FIA cybercrime center and Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication.

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