MOI holds workshop on effective use of social media

Union Minister Dr Pe Myint addresses the workshop on effective uses of social media and their natures in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: MNA
Union Minister Dr Pe Myint addresses the workshop on effective uses of social media and their natures in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: MNA

At a workshop on effective use of social media held at the meeting hall of the Ministry of Information in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday, the importance of good judgement was stressed.
After Dr Pe Myint, Union Minister for Information, made an opening address, U Nay Phone Latt, Yangon Region Hluttaw representative and U Thaung Su Nyein of Information Matrix Co. took part in a panel discussion titled “Judge and assess news and information posted in social website pages”. The essence of the meeting’s message was, “Believe, share and make comments with judgement”, according to discussion leaders.
“It is effective to wisely use social media. But wrong uses, especially spreading false news and making oneself more attractive, are increasing. Some say that Facebook is of little value, and should be closed down. I do not agree with them. Being Hluttaw representatives, we have to use social media in communicating with the public. If possible, we would like all to use not only Facebook, but also other social networks and social media, with good aims, including Facebook, Twitter, You-Tube, Instagram and many others. In our nation, Facebook is widely known to all. Concerning the internet, there are other websites besides social media. There are many other things to learn. In our country, we go straight to Facebook the moment we open the internet. We spend most of our time on Facebook only. We seldom use other beneficial networks. Concerning this, the government or educational authorities should consider how to educate people to be well convinced of its effects.
“As for me, I would like the Ministry of Information to be proactive, rather than to explain false information posted on social media in response. Proactive means leading. Qualified governments try their best to be proactive. Had true news been released promptly just after false news appears, there would no longer be room for false news. Rumours can survive until the time when true news appears. Rapid response needs to be promptly done for false news. I would like the Ministry of Information to be proactive and to make rapid responses. Technology must be applied for service to be sent to the public exactly and quickly. In the international sphere as well, they try hard like this. For using technology, it will be e-government. It needs to move on to reach this stage. We have already had techniques. Red tape systems are required to be reduced as much as possible. Utilisation of advanced technology can erase our worries of taking time. It should be assessed as to why we cannot use advanced technology. It should be performed in other ministries serving the public. If so there will no longer be bribery and corruption. We have an e-government master plan. We only need to perform. Today we are discussing social media. We must have intellect in applying social media. And we need to take care of the news we post. In social media, we must be careful about doing Click and Touch. We would not like people to believe all postings, so that it will be beneficial for the country and ourselves.”
U Thaung Su Nyein spoke on the subject of “People subjected to advantages and disadvantages of social media and a Crisis Communication Plan,” and explained the social media usage policy.
“The policy is rules and regulations for company staff and government service personnel to abide by. We managed to discuss how to fact check to know whether these are true or false, whenever news appears on pages. Fact checking is to adjust facts to be accurate. The Ministry of Information should make a prompt response to the statements of international figures about Myanmar, as to whether news is correct, and to what extent. Process and procedure should be carried out beforehand. For example, a market was burnt down, losing lots of money. Till two or three days after the fire outbreak, if the news was not released, there will never be convenience.”
He added, “The Ministry of Information survives on its stance of releasing news and information. In case it will survive as the news media, I would like to suggest that it should be prepared not only for the state-owned media but also for its future. Previously, it used to take time to change the newspaper. Now, in the age of digital media, it is required to change every week, more and more promptly. We are to observe cutting edge technology. Being boundless, digital media needs to understand international laws and regulations. Especially if we are to try our best to fulfi thel needs of readers, that is, to be always with the readers.”
Those present at the meeting made queries. U Than Naing, editor of IPRD said, “In our country, people are being found to have used social media, rather than print media, especially from Facebook. People come to have an opportunity to freely disclose their feelings through Facebook. Generally, Facebook pages are full of hate speech and false news. The people need to judge over these. These false news and hate speeches can increase doubts and hatred among races, religions and organisations. Depending upon their judgement, advantages will result in. Thus, the people will have learnt to use social media effectively.”
Assessments will be made over discussions which came out of yesterday’s meeting and further discussions will be held in the offices of regions, states, districts and townships under the Ministry of Information, it was learnt.—Myanmar News Agency

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