The head of the Agency for Information and Mass Communications Komil Allamjonov made an official statement regarding the dissemination of false information and measures to address violations.
“It is well known that in our country a lot of work is being done to ensure freedom of speech, strengthen legal protection of free expression of thoughts, ensure openness of state bodies, strengthen the status of bloggers and protect media workers.
This little by little helps them to gain the respect of the people and become a real “Fourth Estate”. I should note that today every smartphone owner waking up in the morning, checks his social network or reads news. Thus, each of us is involved, to some extent, in the work of electronic information. In this field, someone is a participant, someone is an observer, and somebody is a victim.
These days, any news posted on social networks cause active discussion, exchange of opinions and debate. This indicates an increase in the social activity of citizens.
Unfortunately, insults, slander and attempts to denigrate someone are becoming more prevalent. Such comments have a negative effect on citizens, lead to the spread of false information, the emergence of rumors and gossip. Most of these comments are thrown into the media space by a group of so-called “trolls”, from fake accounts created specifically for this purpose.
Regrettably, this problem exists not only in Uzbekistan. It has become something common throughout the world. Everyone knows that most riots are carried out with the support of such resources. The international community is fighting against this problem.
There is only one solution to this problem: ensuring the rule of law in society and raising the level of legal knowledge and culture.
Democracy and freedom of speech – they do not mean the opportunity to speak with impunity whatever they like. Freedom of speech is, firstly, compliance with the law and responsibility for one’s statements.
A lot of leading media of developed countries strictly observe this principle. Every journalist, blogger, is responsible before the law for his statements made through the media. This norm is firmly established in the legislation of developed countries, as well as in Uzbekistan.
We remind the media, bloggers, moderators of groups in social networks and mobile messengers about the need to comply with the above standards not only in their statements, but also in comments containing insults, deceitful, defaming and harmful information that citizens leave from fake accounts and all kinds of “trolls”.
You are required to filter out such illegal information, or if it has already leaked, immediately delete it,” Komil Allamjonov said.
The existing normative legal acts clearly describe such actions and spell out measures for committed offenses.
In particular, the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan on mass media defines: “It is forbidden through the mass media to defame the honor and dignity of citizens, interfere in their personal lives”.
In addition, the Law on Principles and Guarantees of Freedom of Information states: “Misrepresentation and falsification of information is prohibited.
The media, together with the source and author of the information, are responsible for the accuracy of the information disseminated in the manner prescribed by law”.
“According to Article 41 of the Administrative Responsibility Code of Uzbekistan, insulting, that is, deliberately humiliating an individual’s honor and dignity, entails a fine of 20 to 40 times the minimum monthly wage.
Also, Article 140 of the Criminal Code states that insulting, that is, intentionally humiliating an individual’s honor and dignity in indecent form, after applying an administrative penalty for the same actions, is punishable by a fine of up to 200 MMW or by compulsory community service up to 240 hours or corrective labor up to 1 year.
In our country, freedom of expression is ensured, but this does not give the right to insult or humiliate anyone. This is wrong both from the point of view of the law and from the point of view of humanity,” the head of the Agency said.