Oct 20, Colombo: An election monitor in Sri Lanka, the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) has observed an increasing trend of hate speech in the presidential election campaign.
CaFFE Director Surangi Ariyawansa told local media that false and hateful statements are increasingly being made about presidential candidates, especially at election rallies and on social media.
She noted that some candidates, rather than promoting their campaigns on social networks, appear to be carrying out an organized program to discredit rival candidates.
Ms. Ariyawansa stressed that through this program of purchasing Facebook pages and YouTube channels which have a large number of subscribers and spreading misinformation about the rival candidates, the genuine public opinion can be distorted and
She said the hate speech and racist statements had risen on election platforms, adding that this situation if continued further would increase the risk of violence.
The CaFFE Director disclosed this information according to the observations made by the social media monitoring unit set up by the election monitor following the announcement of the presidential election.