Certain parties are trying to gain the upper hand in the upcoming presidential election by spreading rumours on social media about incidents relating to national security, the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) said yesterday (17 Oct).
CaFFE has requested the National Elections Commission (NEC) and security forces to investigate the sources of such rumours and find out whether there is an organised group behind them.
CaFFF Acting Executive Director Manas Makeen said: “If some parties believe that they can get an advantage in the election by spreading rumours, that is a serious problem.”
“Immediate legal action must be taken against those who spread fake news on national security. CaFFE too had set up a monitoring body to collect and investigate rumours that are being spread across social media,” he added.
Makeen further noted that there is a possibility that rumours about bomb blasts in three separate areas on Wednesday (16 Oct) were also spread deliberately.
Meanwhile, Police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said that about 5,000 rumours threatening to disrupt national security have been in circulation.
CaFFE has received 179 complaints regarding election law violations so far.
The Election Commission, meanwhile, reports a total of 851 complaints received since 8 October. Eight of these complaints pertain to incidents of violence, according to the Commission.