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Social Media Declaration, A Timely Need

Just over a year ago, social media faced a shut down in Sri Lanka.  The action, enforced by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC), came in the wake of the violence that erupted in Digana, in the Kandy district between Sinhalese and Muslims.  While the incident that sparked the violence was not caused by social media, it was seen as the prime culprit in helping to spread rumours and misinformation.

In less than a decade, social media has evolved to become the foremost communicator of information.  In fact, at the Sri Lanka Broadcaster’s Symposium, titled Broadcasting for Social Change –Challenges and Opportunities, held in Colombo in January this year, the keynote speaker, Mr. Pipone Panitchpakdi, Deputy Director General of Thai Public Broadcasting Service (TPBS) claimed that Television has now dropped to third place as an information provider.  He pointed out that today, social media has dislodged the screen to enjoy first place, with the lap top or tablet coming second.

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