PAFFREL to monitor social media for election violations

Executive Director of People’s Action for Free and Fair Election (PAFFREL) Rohana Hettiarachchi said that they have set up two teams to monitor online content on social media to curb the spread of hate speech, fake news and racism during the Presidential Election period.

Speaking at a media briefing held at Colombo yesterday (15 Oct) Hettiarachchi said that the teams will report to the Election Commission and social media networking sites for further action in the days leading up to the Presidential Election on 16 Nov.

Further, he said that it was the first time that PAFFREL had instituted such action and that election monitors were compelled to monitor social media over fears that those with vested interests would use the period before the polls to propagate hate speech, racism and fake news.
“The teams will begin reporting on content that is posted and shared online as much as possible. There will be information shared with the intention of creating chaos and confusion and this team will report it to the Election Commission for necessary action,” he added.

He also said that such cases will be directed to Facebook representatives in Sri Lanka to follow up.

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