Social media impacts police operations, says Tudravu

Fiji Police Force deputy commissioner ACP Rusiate Tudravu with a participant at the 20th Attorney General's Conference in Sigatoka. Picture: REPEKA NASIKO.

MONITORING fake news on social media has had a great impact on the operations of the Fiji Police Force, says Deputy Police Commissioner ACP Rusiate Tudravu.

While speaking at the 20th Attorney-General’s Conference in Sigatoka yesterday, he said their ability to diffuse and counter any negative situation incited by fake news has become a real challenge.

“The sheer volume of fake news on social media is high and we are not just talking about issues that have the ability to create religious and racial intolerance, cause fear and panic about the state of national security but attacks against individuals,” he said.

“There will be a lot of heads nodding in agreement when I point out that this was evident over the past few months in the lead-up to the 2018 General Election and even now during the post-election period.

“There was a sharp increase in the number of fake profiles and a new trend emerged of fake news media pages where the administrators went to great lengths to discredit political parties, political candidates and known officials involved in the election process.

“What is interesting, however, is the high level of interaction on the deceptive content even after we or concerned authorities had issued official statements refuting the fake news of social media.”

He explained this proved that more people were turning to social media to source their news.

“More often than not, issues posted on these fake pages are outrageous or salacious but the worrying reality is that they are often accepted and shared.”

He added citizen journalism was also on the rise.

More Stories