Bangladesh's proposal for enhancing accountability in social media got the highest importance in the declaration paper 'Bali Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)' of the 18th Asia Media Summit-2023 that concluded on Wednesday night in Bali, Indonesia.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud gave the proposal at the three-day summit organized by the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) from May 23 to 25, said a press release on Thursday.
More than 500 representatives from 40 Asia Pacific countries joined the summit while leaders of the AIBD member countries pledged in the 'Bali MoU' to undertake various steps to face challenges triggered by spreading wrong, misleading and false information through the social media.
Addressing the minister-level session at the inaugural function of the summit, Dr Hasan said, "The explosion of social media has changed our lives a lot. This change has come to society, the world and the life of everyone".
Mentioning that Bangladesh is no exception to this, he said, "In the last decade and a half, the media has expanded extensively in our country under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. In addition, the spread of social media has brought many changes in public life".
Since independent, transparent and responsible media is conducive to development of democracy and economic uplift, the information minister said it is also imperative to uphold the values of accuracy and integrity of information in the social media. "Through this media, wrong or untrue information can spread in a moment and disrupt the lives of individuals and people since there are many examples of this in countries," said Dr Hasan, also Awami League (AL) joint general secretary.
To prevent this disaster, social media users need to be aware and the accountability of the owners and stakeholders of the media should be ensured for spreading misinformation, he added.
According to the release, the proposal placed by Dr Hasan was echoed in the declaration paper of the summit. There is a provision in the 'Bali MoU' for encouraging citizens for using social media with responsibility and upholding the values of accuracy, transparency and integrity of information.
Simultaneously, in the MoU, the AIBD members agreed to undertake initiatives to ensure accountability of social media owners and stakeholders to prevent dissemination of false, misleading and untrue information.