Stick to what is accurate and leave off the fake news!
This strong message came from Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, who said Government will be asking the Commissioner of Police to follow up on some matters pertaining to fake news.
During today’s press conference to give an update on the erupting La Soufriere Volcano in St. Vincent, which deposited ash on this island for the entire weekend, Managing Director of the Barbados Light & Power Company, Roger Blackman; and General Manager of the Barbados Water Authority, Keithroy Halliday, reported that their communications departments had to respond to fake news.
Ms. Mottley then stated: “We will ask the Commissioner of Police to follow up on these issues, because this now can lead to the loss of somebody’s life, or injury of someone, if we continue to have people operating on the basis of news that’s not accurate. So, I really want to underscore that let us stick to what is accurate.”
Insisting that technology had done wonders, she continued: “But technology has also released a new and unfortunate virus call fake news and that fake news virus is killing us.”
The Prime Minister said she too was a recent victim of fake news, and urged people to make sure what they were circulating could be accurately verified.
“Don’t be sending pictures about things related to how to deal with Light and Power or water or medical issues, unless you are satisfied it is coming from an official source, namely the Government of Barbados’ sources, the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre sources. There are a few official sources and we all know the credible news entities,” she said.
Ms. Mottley told the traditional media that they needed to reinforce to members of the public that information should be taken from the official news source.
She assured citizens that Government would communicate with them regularly to ensure there was no information vacuum.