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Experts term partial truth fake news.

Byline: BAQA-UL-MOHSIN

BAHAWALPUR -- Partial truth is fake news, which comes out of vested interest and commercial gains. Civic education is necessary for countering fake news on social media. Fake news is being used in the US to give air to Islamophobia and xenophobia. Ethics and the use of Allama Iqbal's philosophy for upholding ethical values for countering fake news. The whole problem of fake news could be resolved if we follow the principals given by Quran. Framing of policy is necessary to approaches for countering war propaganda.

Social media is a black hole, which spreads fake news. Fake news is being used as tool of propaganda which is a huge challenge. World should come up with concerted efforts to tackle the menace of fake news and hate speech. World is going to 6G and 7G and individual is going to be more powerful in dissemination of information.

This was stated by speakers inducing international experts in a three-day international conference on 'Fake News and Facts in our Region' organised by Institute of Regional Studies (IRS).

In his opening remarks, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said that social media is a black hole that spreads fake news and in US, India and Pakistan, fake news is being used as propaganda tool which is a huge challenge. He said that social media is much more ahead in spreading fake news.

'According to the holy Quran, we should first verify news and then spread and even Pakistan Penal Code has provision against fake news,' he pointed out, adding that polio vaccination campaign was affected by fake news in Peshawar and thousands of people refused to administer drops to their kids.

The minister emphasized the need for research in the field and appreciated the IRS initiative in gathering scholars for the purpose of discussing this important subject.

Director Islamic World Studies Program at Loyola University, Chicago, shared that fake news is being used in the US to give air to Islamophobia and xenophobia.

Chair of History Department of Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Prof Umar Turan exposed centres of propaganda against Ottoman Empire in Europe. He gave a comprehensive talk on the Western propaganda against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. He vehemently denied the claims about the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Ottomans.

Former Council of Islamic Ideology chairman Dr Khalid Masud said that there are two ways to handle it: either to shun your responsibility or regulate the social media. 'The truth is only the whole truth and partial truth is fake news,' he underlined.

Prof Saeeda Bennani from the University of Hassan-II, Casablanca, talked about competing ethics and the use of Allama Iqbal's philosophy for upholding ethical values for countering fake news.

Fidaur Rahman from the University College of Zhob said that Quran has laid down basic principal of Information and if we implemented on it the whole problem of fake could be solved.

Imtiaz Gul chaired a session on historical myths now taken as given truth. He said that he correct his distorted images created after reading history from authors from Sub-Continent after reading German and other authors. He said fake news come out of vested interest and commercial gains.

Prof Moonis Ahmar, Dr. Zafar Iqbal, and Prof Tughral Yamin shed light on the use of fake news as an instrument of war and the needed policy approaches for countering war propaganda.

Dr Saeed Ahmed Rid from Quaid-i-Azam University said that history in the world was always subjective. He said that history of Sub-Continent was also communalized. After making Pakistan Studies as compulsory in Pakistan up to graduation, the history was further communalized. He also exposed pro-BJP historians.

IRS Editor Aarish U Khan called for a balance between governments' efforts at countering fake news through regulation and upholding freedom of expression according to international norms.

Dr Shahzad Ali from Bahauddin Zakaria University Multan discussed examples of fake news in Pakistan; and between governments' efforts at countering fake news through regulation and upholding freedom of expression according to international norms.

IRS President Dr Rukhsana Qamber highlighted the issue of fake news in the region. She said that It brought together scholars from Morocco, Turkey, the UK, the USA with papers from Nepal and Afghanistan. The level of discussion by the participants indicated the keen interest generated on the subjects discussed.

Sri Lankan High Commissioner Noordeen Muhammad Shaheid was chief guest at the closing session of the conference.
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Publication:The Nation (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:May 11, 2019
Words:816
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