Six suicide bombers have recently attacked a series of tragic attacks in Sri Lanka, killing nearly three hundred people, and hurting hundreds upon hundreds of more people.
The government quickly took action against the attack by temporarily blocking all social media platforms. Their goal of doing so was to try to prevent any sort of false information from being spread across the internet.
A researcher for the Center for Policy Alternatives expressed that there was a great deal of false reports going around on social platforms following the attacks, including false numbers, such as the number of people that were killed.
The most significant false information that was going around according to the researcher, however, is that it was blamed on Muslim suicide bombers. Another false rumor was going around that they were warned before the attack.
Last year, in March, Sri Lanka, unfortunately, was faced with an increase in violence due to false news about Muslims being spread on social media, which also led to a social media ban during that time.
At the same time, however, the ban imposed by the government has also been seen as rather controversial, as it prevents those suffering from the affects of the attacks from getting in touch with their friends and family.
Today, social media has become our main way of communicating, and such bans may very well be doing more harm than good. And at the same time, even so, it’s not even certain that these bans prevent the spread of false information, but rather make it more difficult to have the truth made known to the public.