I would like raise my concern on the culture of forwarding and viral fake news in Brunei Darussalam. We live in an age where technology has allowed us to contact each other via our phones or computers.
However, through this, I noticed that a majority of the public are constantly forwarding viral messages or fake news.
This has turned into alarming proportions, especially with the COVID-19 situation.
It was not even a day after Brunei reported its first COVID-19 patient when someone spread a doctored image which stated “an ambulance just brought 8 year’s old children that confirmed infected by the COVID-19 just now”.
Matters like this will only cause panic and affect the way the government is handling COVID-19.
In another case, a viral message included private information of those who attended the Tabligh event in Kuala Lumpur. Imagine having your private information passed around and think how those people would have felt.
I have also seen messages that claim the COVID-19 can be cured by consuming certain food or drinks. Unverified messages such as this can cause health risks which will further burden the Ministry of Health.
I understand that those forwarding the viral messages are trying to help. However, please verify the information first. Verifying information can be done in a matter of seconds by using phones. You can either search online or call the authorities. The public can also check if the news is legitimate by checking the official media.
I also hope the authorities will strictly enforce the law by fining or imprisoning those spreading false news.
Let us hope that the authorities will not need to make an example before people stop forwarding viral messages/fake news.
Sick of people
forwarding fake news