The Thai government’s Anti-Fake News Centre have been instructed to intensify their efforts to crack down on fake covid-19 news. News which is deemed detrimental to life and property, to alert the public about fake covid-19 news and to provide the public with facts.
The instruction was issued by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, who is in charge of security affairs, during his inspection visit to the centre Friday.
He attached special importance to fake news related to COVID-19 vaccines and the spread of the disease which, he said, has caused widespread public confusion and, hence, needs to be rapidly suppressed.
Fake covid-19 news has been circulating throughout the Covid pandemic, with such misleading information ranging from the promotion of herbs as a virus cure to certain drug recommendations by so-called senior doctors.
The anti-fake news centre says it will investigate attempts to spread such news to mislead the public about the Covid-19 situation, focusing on online and social media platforms. The task force is required to submit reports to the Justice Ministry and others overseeing it.
According to the Anti-Fake News Centre, which is a joint operation between the Royal Thai Police and the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, officials screened 3,857,190 social media messages between April 7th and May 11th and found 788 which they deemed to be fake news, related to health and political issues.
During the 475 days, between January 25th last year and May 11th this year, about 73.8 million messages were found to be related to COVID-19, but only 6,791 of them were deemed to contain false information, with only 3,376 worthy of investigation. Of these, 2,242 messages concerned health issues, 1,011 concerned government policies.