NEWS

 COWARDS BEHIND FAKE PROFILES: A-G

    Acting Prime Min­ister and Attor­ney-General Ai­yaz Sayed-Khaiyum has called on Opposition members of Parlia­ment to stop spreading lies and support­ing fake news on social media. Delivering his ministerial
20 Apr 2018 10:00
 COWARDS BEHIND FAKE PROFILES: A-G

 

 

Acting Prime Min­ister and Attor­ney-General Ai­yaz Sayed-Khaiyum has called on Opposition members of Parlia­ment to stop spreading lies and support­ing fake news on social media.

Delivering his ministerial statement in Parliament yesterday, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said some pages and forums on various social media platforms in Fiji were be­coming a web of lies, racism, bullying and hatred.

Acting Prime Min­ister and Attor­ney-General Ai­yaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Acting Prime Min­ister and Attor­ney-General Ai­yaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said it was not sur­prising that it was always the same “cow­ards” who hid behind the same fake pro­files and were spreading lies and false attacks on social media.

He said some fake profiles pretended to be members of religious ethnic groups, spreading racism and the parliamentary Opposition had not said any word of con­demnation on the issue.

He said: “Silence is deafening from the Opposition. Why do they choose not to speak out Madam Speaker and denounce this behaviour?

“We all know why? Because the same lies and same fearmongering have always been the favourite tactic in the Opposition play book.

“They don’t condemn the action of these fake profiles because they believe it befits them.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said that the same fake profiles had put up posts in support of Oppo­sition MPs.

He then gave a number of examples.

One included a former MP who posted a doctored video of Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. In another incident, a National Federation Party pro­visional candidate claimed Mr Bainimarama was away overseas when he was, in fact, in the country.

He said the MPs, as electoral representatives, must hold a higher standard that was honorably applied in and out of the House.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum called on the MPs to set an example at all times.

He said it was no coincidence that online fake profiles echoed the same words as SODELPA and NFP politicians.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also noted a recent Facebook post where members of a family who were still grieving were forced to respond to a vicious and false post of a family member.

He said certain individuals posted pictures of the deceased young man.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the post and photo­graphs made it difficult for viewing.

“I can only imagine the impact it may have had on his family and loved ones.”

He said accompanying the photographs were dangerous disturbing lies that the young man was tortured by Police officers.

He said this had eventually been corrected and none of the allegations were true. He confirmed that the young man had contracted a serious ill­ness and died at the Lautoka Hospital.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said these accusations were made in the midst of an unimaginably difficult time.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the tragic death of the young man was used by some to push their politi­cal agenda to suit their purposes.

“They sought to take advantage of a vulnerable family and slandered the women and men of the Fiji Police Force to incite distrust, anger and ha­tred in our society, in particular the police force and consequently the Government,” he said.

“The Facebook post was engaged with more than 4000 people.”

He said most posts on Facebook in Fiji have been crude and hurtful insults based on ethnicity and religion made against ordinary people.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said, “It is up to us, all of us, the world is waking up to the problem and we in Fiji need to wake up to this because Fijians de­serve better than fake profiles, news sources and unaccountable irresponsible actions on social me­dia.

“They deserve social media platforms to rely on accurate news. Fiji wake up and flag fake profiles on Facebook and social media.”

He called on religious bodies to raise awareness on the issue and parents to exercise extreme cau­tion on the use of social media.

In response, NFP Leader Biman Prasad said it was unusual that there was an Online Safety Bill that would be debated soon and was surprised to have heard this as a ministerial statement.

He said there needed to be some intellectual hon­esty from the Government because he was also a victim of some vicious attacks by fake news by people he claimed to be FijiFirst party supporters.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: losirene.lacanivalu@fijisun.com.fj

 



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