Accountability systems

In Bangladesh, there is no single mechanism to oversee media and ensure their accountability. Each media use their own internal system to ensure accountability. In many cases, several media houses published fake, baseless stories intending to serve economic benefits or political interests or targeting individuals or rival media organisations. In absence of any authority involving all media, it is quite impossible to stop this kind of practices. As a result, the government takes selective measures in this regard. It takes action if the fake or baseless stories go against it, but remain silence if they serve government purposes.

Like elsewhere in the world, fake news is a dangerous phenomenon in Bangladesh with little or no mechanism to proof it. Radical Islamists resorted to online propaganda through spreading fake and motivated news during and after the 2013 mass movement in the capital’s Shahbagh square, targeting secular bloggers, intellectuals and LGBT activists and creating grounds to attack and murder them. They have been successful in doing so. Fake news has now become a political tool to malign or discredit political rivals in Bangladesh. A number of websites are being operated with an aim to spread fake news.