Humble request to Social Media users not to spread misinformation and defamatory content amidst Crisis

Humble request to Social Media users not to spread misinformation and defamatory content amidst Crisis

3 May 2021 06:16 pm

A report claiming that the wedding of the daughter of the sister of Amry Commander Shavendra Silva, Chief of the National Operation Centre for Prevention of Covid-19 Outbreak, is taking place today (03) is being spread across social media meeting severe criticism from many parties. Criticism at this gravity would only be fair, had the story been actually true.

Had the Army Commander, the prime figure leading the anti-Covid operation in Sri Lanka, allowed such a function to take place, it would be a serious offence against the prevailing health crisis in the country. Therefore, LNW investigated into the roots of the story to ascertain whether the claims are actually true.

Fact Checked: Who is on the picture?

Fact checked: We have confirmed that there is no truth in the event alleging that the daughter of the sister of the Army Commander is getting married today. General Silva's sister's daughter is still a school student, we find out.

According to information we unravelled, today (03) is the wedding of the daughter of Major Sampath Weerasuriya, a retired Army officer currently serving in a private bank.

The picture swarming on the internet is a picture of Major Weerasuriya's daughter's wedding day. Along with the pictures is a photograph of the Army Commander and Major General Chagi Gallage together, taken on the day of Mr. Shavendra Silva's appointment as the Commander of Army, not on any wedding day.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, political disagreements and expressions of objection, but we are witnessing the best and the worst of social media 24/7, being driven to question ourselves of the authenticity of information, for a majority of them is but defamatory content targeting individuals, or a pool of people.

Social Media, however, is a leading force in the present context, setting trends in the world, thereby winning opinion, despite social standards or taboos. We, therefore, humbly request from the social media users to practice discipline over what you wish to post today, for there should be a responsibility to maintain the credibility of information amidst such a global crisis.

We too are social media operators, who have been working hard to maintain the credibility of the items that we publish. Misrepresentation and misinterpretation of information only undermine trust in social media and noway can be justified under any circumstance, we denote.

Social media needs to move forward and not be manipulated to make it worse driving the general public to further frustration, especially under the present context. 

Had there been an allegation, or disclosure to the mischievous, it always should be backed by evidence and undeniable facts, which begs us to confront that spreading false information as above not only deteriorates yourself, but others as well. Level criticism, but only in a manner in which your argument is constructive, not disastrous.

We have no interest in defending the Army Commander, or catering to suppression of social media users. Neither do we hold personal grudges or special ties with either. We are standing out for the view that the credibility of almost everything that is said and done amidst the current situation in the island must be maintained.

In the context of overcoming a pandemic, we do not wish to provoke hate among the masses with misinformation, for we, just as you, want to reverse this public health crisis for the betterment of everyone as soon as possible. We too are part of the oppressed of the Covid-19 pandemic.

We, therefore, reiterate you our urge of intervening on this matter to maintain the credibility of social media without compromising it.