TOMS RIVER – The Township Council put out a statement warning people to stay away from fake news and that they should only receive their information from reputable sources.
“We are very concerned about some of these websites popping up giving false information about the township,” Councilman George Wittmann said at a recent Township Council meeting. He then read a statement into the record.
“Many of these outlets use ‘newspaper-sounding’ names – often with ‘Toms River’ as a prefix – or borrow the Township’s well-recognized logo, conveying the false impression that they are official sources for Township information or part of the legitimate media,” the statement read in part.
“In fact, however, much of the information and commentary circulating on these sites is, at best, inaccurate and unsubstantiated and, at worst, biased and inflammatory,” the statement continued. “Although they have, under our country’s laws, the right to operate, we believe these outlets hinder rather than help a robust, constructive, and civil public discourse on important matters affecting the township.”
Additionally, those seeking information about township matters were encouraged to speak directly with elected officials or representatives of the town.
The statement did not call out specific websites. It explained that the town does not provide information to fake news sites, and disavows the opinions expressed on these sites.
“Regardless of how official-looking or official-sounding, no other social media platforms are owned, operated, sponsored or affiliated with the township,” the statement read.