Police Nab Man For Fake News Post

Source: Vientiane Times

Police detained a 23-year-old man after he posted a clip on social media which falsely implied there had been a plane crash in Luang Prabang province.

Head of the criminal investigation division, Lieutenant Colonel Singkeo Vongphachanh, said the man posted an audio clip on TikTok on May 17, which gave the impression that a plane had come down in Xiengngeun district, but in fact the clip was contrived and no crash had occurred.

The clip attracted great public interest and was widely liked and shared. But police said it harmed the reputation of aviation in Laos and made people unnecessarily concerned.

Lieutenant Colonel Singkeo said police tracked down the person who posted the clip and detained Mr Maisy, who is originally from Xaychamphon district in Borikhamxay province but now lives in a flat in Xaythany district, Vientiane.

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During questioning, he told police he posted the clip in order to attract attention and that he just wanted to see how many times it would be liked and shared.

Police informed Mr Maisy about the error of his ways, issued a written warning instructing him not to repeat the offence, and told him he would be prosecuted if he did the same thing again.

In a bid to stem the flood of fake news on social media, the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism last week ordered provincial officials to keep records of all official social media platforms and to register them. Numerous posts containing videos, photos and audio clips have appeared on social media during the Covid-19 pandemic, many of which were false and caused public alarm.

The ministry ordered the departments of Information, Culture and Tourism in every province to make a record of social media websites, online news pages and Facebook pages and forward them to the Mass Media Department.

The ministry also advised its provincial departments to supervise the registration of social media platforms, which can be done for free, in compliance with a notice issued by the ministry on September 17, 2020.

Registration can be done online and applications downloaded from www.medialao.com and sent to infor@medialaos.com or obtained directly from the Mass Media Department.

The publishing of fake news, photos and videos violates the Law on Cybercrime Prevention. Anyone found to be in violation of the law is subject to legal action.

Causing loss or damage through social media is a cybercrime, according to Article 8 of the law.

Persons causing loss or damage through social media are subject to a prison sentence of three months to three years and a fine of 4 million to 20 million kip, according to Article 62 of the law.

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