Controlling fake news in Bhutan

The fake new saga is a world headache. It has impacted every political and social event across the globe now. Bhutan is no exception.

Until the second elections, Bhutanese were not acquainted with the social media. That has grown by heaps now. The access might easily influence the elections the country is scheduled to hold next year.

The government is now mulling over stricter social networking laws. The government is targeting the fake news, sensitive information being shared and fake Facebook accounts.

There are also many new fake accounts that attempt to get financial and personal details from Bhutanese people to either rob them or blackmail them.

The images of a woman being brutally murdered by her husband were circulated on Wechat as an incident that happened in Punakha which in fact was from Bangalore. The Benji and Sacha cases were other bitter examples where social media divided people.

The legislative committee of the Parliament is working on the ICM Bill which would have provisions on the social media.

The current Social Media Policy of the Government of Bhutan states that “Everyone should act in a constructive manner and exercise good judgment, should always ensure that what is posted is true and never to post malicious, indecent, vulgar, obsence, misleading or unfair content about others, one’s organization, one’s friends or competitors. The policy also states that people are not allowed to disclose sensitive private information and should use social media in a manner that is consistent with public sector values, legal requirements, related policies and the code of conduct”.

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