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PM orders agencies to urgently crack down on individuals spreading Covid-related fake news


Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered responsible agencies via his @prayutofficial Facebook page on Tuesday to take action against individuals spreading Covid-19 fake news that might cause public confusion during the pandemic.

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His post came in response to social media rumours that the Bang Sue vaccination centre would be shut down to prevent overcrowding.

The premier insisted on Tuesday that the centre would remain open with social distancing measures employed.

“Each ministry must establish a task force to check and correct fake news that are related to their responsible areas. It must also pursue legal action against the spreaders,” Prayut wrote.

“The Anti-Fake News Centre [under the Digital Economy and Society Ministry] must check and verify the information and announce on their website within 24 hours that they are aware of the news or that a public inquiry has been submitted,” the premier said.

“Furthermore, the Government Public Relations Department, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission and spokespersons of all ministries must notify the public of this verified information via all available channels to ensure comprehensive coverage,” Prayut instructed.

He also ordered the Digital Economy and Society Ministry and the police’s Technology Crime Suppression Division to take legal action in a swift and transparent manner with complete impartiality against those spreading fake news.

“All violators will be treated under the same law regardless of their social status,” Prayut said. “Celebrities, media outlets or owners of popular Facebook pages will be slapped with charges of spreading fake news if they violate the laws,” the PM warned

“I will personally follow up on this anti-fake-news operation, which must be carried out as soon as possible. All agencies must report the progress of their operations to me before the next Cabinet meeting and will have to present updates before every Cabinet meeting,” he added.

Published : July 28, 2021

By : THE NATION