As global leaders debate the menace of fake news, Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Wednesday said he comes from a “fragile democracy” and it troubles him to see the demonisation of the press in some of the world’s more developed countries. Speaking here at a World Economic Forum (WEF) session on ‘fake news versus real politics’, Zardari also said Pakistan has some of the bravest and best journalists who have helped fight dictatorships in the country.
He also expressed concern about big business houses controlling the media and politicians and some media outlets propagating an agenda. Speaking in the same session, some other panelists felt government regulation has no place in the control of fake news, while they also raised concern about social media platforms adding to the problem.
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said, “The social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram really need to think about the quality of the information they are hosting. They have not been doing enough to root out fake news.” The New York Times Managing Editor Joseph Kahn, on the other hand, said US President Donald Trump’s use of the term ‘fake news’ is the real problem. “The President’s definition of fake news is fundamentally fake. It’s an all purpose term to smear those who hold the powerful to account,” he said.