Bangladeshi internet slowed to counter fake news during election Watch

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Report Thread starter 6 months ago

Not necessarily a bad idea.

Fake news is bad enough in the West, but in developing countries it is at a whole new level of badness, causing hundreds of deaths every year. There is an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to the lynchings caused by fake news on Whatsapp in India alone:

Imagine how bad it gets in election periods.

Most social media sites in question are based in the US, and refuse to properly police violent content and fake news, so other governments can only regulate access to the sits.

I'm not in tune with Bangladeshi politics - indeed I only learnt about the election today - but this is what I gather from several articles I've read:

Social media has turned this into a very violent election. At least 17 people have already recently died due to political fights related to campaigns by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) so far.

The BNP have been kicked off mainstream websites for promoting violence, and organise themselves on social media such as Facebook.

Facebook, as ever, has refused to do anything about this issue, forcing the government to intervene. It is quite a measured intervention too - no censorship, or blocking of websites, but merely slowing down the internet for a couple of days, i.e. slowing down how fast fake news can spread.

Obviously it is a bit annoying - Netflix will spend more time buffering - but if it saves lives it is a small price to pay.

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