In the battle against ‘fake news’, Egypt now has a WhatsApp hotline where people can report such news.
Could this be the easiest and most efficient solution to report fake news, while many other countries are amending laws for that matter?
The Egyptian hotline was launched two weeks ago, and will run on WhatsApp allowing citizens to report news that aims to “to endanger the nation’s security or public interests.”
The announcement was made through a statement by Egypt’s General Prosecution office.
A news report from iAfrikan said a number of regional news outlets are banned in Egypt.
The authorities blocked Qatar-linked online publications such as Al-Jazeera, the Huffington Post Arabic, Qatari News Agency among others.
The reason given by the country’s government is that the publications “fabricate news” and also incite terrorism.
In the long run, Egypt has also blocked The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN, these have been inaccessible to mobile users in Egypt since the beginning of the year.
Many people continue to criticize Egypt’s stance regarding news websites saying it amounts to media censorship.
The new law now also likely give authorities carte blanche on websites to ban citing fake news and state security as a reason, whether that is actually the case or not, is debatable.