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Thailand's government on Wednesday announced a plan to set up a center to combat unverified news on social media platforms, rejecting concerns that it might be used to suppress free speech.
The planned center's goal would be to fight all kinds of fake news, with a focus on misinformation about disasters and financial matters, Minister of Digital Economy and Society Buddhipongse Punnakanta said.
Fake - News - Aspect - Society - Anything
"Fake news is embedded within every aspect of our society, so it's very hard to specifically pinpoint anything right now besides the obvious problems, disasters and financial news, but as we progress — slowly but effectively — we'll try to cover every aspect possible," Buddhipongse said at a news conference.
He said the center would also teach media literacy and launch a website that would act as a digital verifier of news that people suspected of being fake.
People - News - Fear - Confusion - Public
"People can submit any news they're suspicious of being unauthenticated, or that could incite fear and confusion to the public, to the website and our officials would verify its authenticity within two hours," he said.
The center and the website are expected to be launched by October.
Plan - Criticism - Spokeswoman - Opposition - Future
The plan has already drawn criticism. A spokeswoman for the opposition Future Forward Party said last month that it shared concerns about fake news, which it said has been used to attack the government's opponents, but was skeptical about setting up such a center.
"If the anti-fake news center is officially founded,...
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