Journalists stress curbing misinformation on social media


Senior journalists and anchors called upon journalists to present and promote a bright picture of Pakistan, considering it as their prime duty, and avoid misinformation, being spread on the social media, and being followed by people blindly.

Speaking about the hybrid warfare, senior journalists Mansoor Ali Khan, Dilawar Chaudhry, Salman Ghani, Irshad Arif and Sajjad Mir said that Pakistani society was being victimised through hybrid warfare due to low literacy rate, lack of knowledge and less research work. People blindly follow fake news and trends, society will have to equip citizens well with knowledge and research and choose reliable sources.

They were addressing a two-day training workshop titled ‘Hybrid warfare: challenges and way forward’, opened here at Aiwan-e-Iqbal on Thursday.

The event was arranged by the Press Information Centre.

The speakers said that powerful nations destroyed many states in the past through the use of hybrid war tactics, and by creating inferiority complex among them. But in the present times, developed nations have adopted modern techniques for capturing thoughts and mindsets of masses, and employed social media tools including Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, etc.

“More than half of the world’s population uses internet, and as journalists, we will have to work for curbing misinformation. It is creating confusion in society besides pressurising our economy,” they added.

The senior journalists said that unfortunately, country’s political parties had some groups on the social media with fake accounts, which work round-the-clock for creating and spreading fake trends and misinformation against each other. Abusive language is being used in comments; and even journalists are being harassed, they added.

The journalists said that for tackling the situation, cautious use of social tools was a must and awareness among masses should be created.

Speakers said that the social media had become the biggest source of hybrid warfare; it has become hard to detect difference between information and disinformation. Even fake news sometimes becomes top trend on the social media in hours, and in that situation journalists should act responsibly on sensitive issues.

“The enemies are creating confusion in our people especially among the youth by spreading misinformation and running trends against our institutions through social media sites for their nefarious designs on cheap rates using fewer sources. But as a nation, we will have to prepare a comprehensive plan to protect our interests and the motherland,” they added.

The speakers said that the concept of liberty on social media is not possible without acting responsibly, as blindly following of the posts had affected country’s interests badly. In this regard, special attention should be paid to such negative trends against the national interests.

Question, answer session was also held during the workshop while more than 40 journalists from different media groups participated in the event.

Director General Press Information Department Lahore Shafqat Abbas, Director Bushra Bashir, PIC Lahore in-charge Muhammad Awais Anwar, Deputy Director Uzma Saleem, Information Officer Arsalan Tahir and Mirza Hashim Baig (coordinator) also attended the event.