US Senator Gary Peters says disinformation on SM can lead to real-world violence
Speaking at the Senate Arms Service Committee, US Senator Gary Peters said in his speech, “I would like to start with mentioning the wave of violence against minority Hindu temples and homes, which is just yet another reminder that different disinformation spread on social media all too often results in real-world violence. Acts of terrorism like these not only threaten innocent civilians, but also the political stability of an ally with whom we have a long history of cooperation on security, development and humanitarian assistance, as well as disaster relief.”
He also questioned the prioritizing of the information domain and whether the US security assistance in South and Central Asia enhanced allies’ resilience to information warfare.
The US Senator also tweeted, “Disinformation on social media can lead to real-world violence – & we have seen a wave of disturbing attacks against the Hindu community in Bangladesh as a result. I strongly condemn these attacks – and brought them up during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing this week.”
Disinformation on social media can lead to real world violence – & we have seen a wave of disturbing attacks against the Hindu community in Bangladesh as a result. I strongly condemn these attacks – and brought them up during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing this week.⬇️ pic.twitter.com/sNbh3hoLuU
— Senator Gary Peters (@SenGaryPeters) October 31, 2021
From 13 to 19 October 2021, Muslim mobs instigated communal violence against Hindu communities across Bangladesh during the festival of Durga Puja festival. More than 120 temples and makeshift worship arrangements were vandalized.
Allegations of defaming the Muslim holy book Quran emerged from a makeshift temple in Cumilla district when reports of finding a copy of the Quran on the lap of an idol were circulated through social media platforms.
Reports suggest that the violence was triggered by an alleged “blasphemous post” going viral on social media on October 13. As many as 70 homes of Hindus were attacked in parts of Bangladesh as a result.
Officials had revealed that CCTV cameras captured Hossain placing a copy of the Quran at the Durga Puja pandal and one Fayez Ahmed posted a video of the same on social media with the intention of instigating violence.
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