“Don’t believe everything you read on social media.”
That’s the message that President Lenin Moreno’s communication office is sending to millions of Ecuador cell phone users.
“Ecuadorians, do not believe the false news. Salaries are not being lowered. A cash bonus is not being paid to Venezuelans. The debts of the rich have not been forgiven,” said the text message sent out Wednesday and Thursday.
In a press statement, the Telecommunications Regulation and Control Agency (Arcotel) said that “much false information has been disseminated to the population via social media.” The purpose of the fake news, the statement maintains, was to create fear and destabilize the social order.
Arcotel cited several examples of what it claimed were “incendiary” posts regarding the recent indigenous protests, including claims that thousands of protesters were killed by police and buried in mass graves and that hundreds of police remain kidnap victims.
“It is the duty of the General Secretariat of Communication to alert citizens about disinformation campaigns, and it is a right of citizens to receive truthful and timely information,” the statement concluded.