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Meghalaya govt urged to prevent youtubers from spreading misinformation

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Shillong, Feb 26: The UDP MLA from Nongpoh constituency, Mayralborn Syiem on Monday flagged the unregulated mushrooming of youtubers in the State and asked the government to implement a broadcasting code of ethics to regulate and mitigate the dissemination of false information by few.

Raising a zero hour notice in the Assembly, Mayralborn cited the recent incident of how the image of the Chairman of Synjuk Ki Rangbah Shning, BB Makdoh from Nongpoh was tranished by a youtube channel- Hynniewtrep TV, owned and operated by Fernando Diengdoh of Kynshi village  and an FIR filed in this regard.

Making it clear that he is not trying to defame or point fingers at anybody he however said it was sad to see that nowadays few have crossed all decency of public decorum.

Stating that Makdoh has already been a victim, he said tomorrow anyone  from the House can also fall a victim to some malafide intentions.

“Those YouTube channels with malafide intentions publish news and information without proper verification driven by a solo motive of gaining viewership for monetary gains,” he said adding that dissemination of fake news is a serious threat.

The Nongpoh legislator said,” To address the issue, the State government should consider implementing a Broadcasting code of ethics”.

According to him, such a code could empower the government to regulate and mitigate the dissemination of false information.

He also suggested that only those empanelled with the DIPR should be allowed to cover the government programmes and not random youtubers.

In another suggestion, he asked the youtubers to concentrate more on entertainment than news distribution.

The Nongpoh legislator also highlighted how the central government in 2021, notified the information technology guidelines and digital media ethic code for content take down and prescribed standard for what digital publisher can post in the internet.

Meanwhile, in reply, Chief minister Conrad K Sangma said that the person who created and uploaded the news about Makdoh in you tube was summoned to Nongpoh police station and his statement recorded.

He said that social media is an integral part of daily life and  while benefits are plentiful there are many draw backs that needs to be checked.

On steps initiated by the government, he said that a cyber crime wing has been set up to monitor,  investigate cyber or interelated crimes.

He informed since 2019-24, 42 cases have beenregistered, 20 training programmes conducted and  55 awareness programme held.

The Chief minister asked the content creator to kindly verify or fact check before uploading any content and  ensure that the  content is reliable, thereby promoting a culture of responsible content creation.

He also said that he has noted the suggestions and points raised to  implement and bring in framework to monitor content in social media in more efficient manner.

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