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StateSec Arafat: All state institutions concerned to fight false ideas about COVID-19

The head of the Emergency Situations Department (DSU), Dr. Raed Arafat, said on Wednesday that all state institutions and volunteer groups are trying to combat the false ideas spread on social media about the COVID-19 pandemic.

"All state institutions are concerned about this at all levels. All our communication services, at the IGSU (General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations) level, at the DSU (Emergency Situations Department) level, at the level of the Strategic Communication Group, we try to combat, we also have groups of volunteers trying to combat false ideas that are spread, even extremely aggressively, on social networks. Besides, there comes, of course, the cybersecurity side," Arafat told a conference at the CNCCI (Coordination and Leadership Management National Centre) headquarters in Ciolpani.

The secretary of state with the Interior Ministry has made it clear that the most important method is, nonetheless, to detect this false information and combat it, through correct information.

"Of course, you can see if there are concerted attacks, you go and explain to the operator, to the social network manager, there are discussions with all the social networks, because if you see that consistent disinformation keeps coming from somewhere all the time, they have ways to check this and see where it comes from," Arafat said.

The DSU head exemplified that one of the topics of disinformation is about trying to convince people not to follow the rules during the relaxation period.

"Not to wear a mask (...), we started having people who say that everything that has happened so far is a conspiracy and we should let go of everything, all of a time. (...) If the rules are not followed, it is possible to end up in a much worse situation than the one we went through," Raed Arafat said.

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