Wednesday 12th of December 2018 Sahafi.jo | Ammanxchange.com
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    23-Nov-2018

Gov’t launches ‘right to know’ app in bid to combat rumours

 

By Renad Aljadid, The Jordan Times

 

AMMAN — The government on Thursday launched the electronic platform "Haggak Tiraf" (in Arabic “You have the right to know”) with the aim of combating rumours and enhancing access to information.
 
The launch ceremony was held under the patronage of Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, who opened his speech by recalling news which went viral but turned out to contain fabrications and false claims, including some reports about the recent Dead Sea tragedy.
 
"The spread of rumours is a worldwide phenomenon that will never stop on its own, but rather through a dedicated approach to deliver accurate information quickly and on time," Razzaz said, adding that the spread of rumours is even higher when the news is provocative.
 
The newly launched platform seeks to "purify media" by combating rumours that seek to harm the reputation of institutions or people, said Haitham Hassan, the platform’s director, adding that it has three main components: observation, replies and display.
 
"First the observatory team chases false news and examines their seriousness and how viral they are, then they refer them to the reply team, who investigates the truth and prepares a logical explanation, and finally the replies are referred to the publishing team who edit and create visual presentations of the content to be displayed for the public," Hassan explained.
 
Jordan Press Association President Rakan Saaydeh said that the right to access information is an "inherent right" that is granted by the Constitution, adding that receiving information quickly and transparently helps the public to shape and express objective opinions and take fair stances on issues.
 
"Our country is targeted and under direct and indirect pressures and false news is one of the pressures that can threaten the country and its stability," Saaydeh said during the event, adding, "we appreciate the efforts exerted in the platform but it is still under examination and its success will rely on how it will be managed".
 
Minister of State for Media Affairs Jumana Ghunaimat said that the platform is only one solution of an entire plan to combat false news, citing training for governmental spokespeople to ensure a strong media infrastructure.
 
Hussein Khuzai, a professor of sociology hosted by the event, said that combating rumours and false news was not only the responsibility of the government, but also families, schools and universities which should work to increase public awareness and teach media literacy. 
 
Ghunaimat noted that educational curriculums on media are being prepared which will be taught in schools and universities very soon. 
 
The platform is available online through https://haggak.jo/website/  as well as through applications on Google Play and the App Store. 
 

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