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EC starts social media watch from Monday

WT24 Desk

The Election Commission will monitor social media to prevent propaganda ahead of the parliamentary election alongside the administration, Agencies report

“We will begin monitoring social media networks on Monday. We will form our own monitoring team from the Information and Communication Technology branch,” said EC Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed.

The official held a meeting with the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, or BTRC, the police, the detective branch and other relevant officials on Sunday.

“They will work alongside the administration and detective agencies,” Ahmed said.

On Nov 26, the EC ordered the relevant agencies to monitor social media such as Facebook to prevent the spread of propaganda, rumours or efforts to question or derail the election.

According to the schedule, the election day is on Dec 30. Election officials scrutinised the nominees on Sunday. Nominees have until Dec 9 to withdraw.

Nominees will receive their symbols on Dec 10 and will begin their campaigns.

There should be no misuse of social media, Ahmed said. A decision has been taken to prevent anyone from spreading propaganda, he said.

“We have decided to prevent anyone from sharing fake news. No-one, nationally or internationally, should spread fake news. We will take action against any fake news.”

“We will take legal action against any propaganda. The relevant agencies are supporting the EC on this matter. Offences under the Digital Security Act and other laws will be pursued. We will attempt to raise mass awareness to prevent propaganda. We will also run advertisements to that effect.”

The EC called this meeting a week after it sat with mobile phone operators, the BTRC and the National Telecommunication Monitoring Centre.

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