Turkish police arrested 78 people accused of posting on social media about the earthquake. They created fear and panic among people by sharing provocative posts about the earthquake. On 6th Feb, Turkey, and Syria witnessed a massive earthquake killing more than 40000 people and many more are in need of aid.
The General Directorate of Security of Turkey said that investigations are going on as people created a lot of panic from their social media posts. Legal proceedings had been started against 293 and the prosecutor ordered to arrest of 78 people.
Fake websites stealing Donations
He also added that more than 40 websites are shut down for fake publishing and stealing donations from people. 15 other social media accounts are also suspended for posting as real institutions and taking donations for quake victims.
Last year, Turkey’s parliament passed a law in which journalists and anyone could be jailed for up to three years for spreading rumors and disinformation. This law was passed under the ruling party of President Tayyip Erdogan to stop people from misusing social media and destroying the peace of the country.
President Tayyip Erdogan had said that this law was needed to tackle false accusations on social media. It will not cause any stop to freedom of speech but only to misinformation and fake spreading of news. Many governments in the world blocked social media sites in the past to protect the country.
Last week, access to twitter was also blocked for 12 hours from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday morning, to stop the spread of disinformation, promoting any angry response from opposition political parties. It also helped rescue teams find people under the rubble fastly.
Communication Director of Turkey Fahrettin Altun tweeted that country is facing serious information pollution, about 6200 items of false information are reported to the government. People are advised to believe only what authorities would share on the daily bulletin.
Turkey also announced a national emergency and asked for help from all around the world. All the countries are providing humanitarian aid to Turkey victims.