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Mark Zuckerberg will be teaming up with Nigeria to fight fake news

It was disclosed in a report that The social media giant Facebook,would be teaming up with Nigeria to fight the spread of fake news on Facebook.


The Minister of Information and Culture,
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the National
Campaign Against Fake News has received a
boost from the Social Networking Platform,
Facebook, which plans to partner with the
Federal Government to check the menace.

The Minister announced the planned
cooperation in Abuja on Tuesday when he
visited Daar Communications, owners of AIT
and Raypower, in furtherance of the
campaign.

He said the national campaign, which was
launched on 11th July 2018, has succeeded
in bringing the phenomenon to the front
burner of national discourse.

“We are not under any illusion that our campaign
will immediately end the menace of fake news.
But we know that by creating national
awareness, we are putting the issue of fake
news on the front burner.

“Fake news is now a subject of national
discourse, workshops and conferences. In the
coming days, the social networking web
platform, Facebook, will be meeting with us and
other top policy makers across the country in
the days ahead to see how to assist us in
fighting fake news. That, to us, is a major step
forward, and we thank all our partners, and
indeed all Nigerians, for this achievement,”
Alhaji Mohammed said.

The Minister, who described fake news as a
global phenomenon, said different countries
are adopting various measures to tackle the
menace, but said Nigeria has decided to
appeal to the sense of responsibility of
media practitioners, bloggers and Social
Media Influencers, instead of engaging in
coercion or censorship.

He said if left unchecked, fake news has the
capacity to disrupt the peace and unity of
the country and it’s also a clear and present
danger to the nation’s democracy.

“For example, the fake news phenomenon
played out during the recent governorship
elections in Osun State. Whereas 16 PDP
members were arrested for various offences,
including impersonating observers and for
violence during the rerun, the purveyors of fake
news made it look as if the APC was the
perpetrators of these crimes.

“Also, a few days ago, fake news about the
release of Leah Sharibu circulated freely on the
social media. Imagine the additional trauma this
would have caused for the parents. Imagine the
implication on efforts to secure her release, and
indeed the national security implications,” Alhaji
Mohammed said.

He said the campaign against fake news
could not have come at a better time,
considering that the 2019 general elections
are fast approaching and enemies of
democracy will latch on to it to wreak havoc.

Plc, Mr. Tony Akiotu, commended the
Minister for embarking on the campaign to
minimise the dangers of fake news to the
unity and security of the country.
He pledged the readiness of Daar
Communications to partner with the Federal
Ministry of Information and Culture to check
the excesses of fake news.

“Honourable Minister, I will like to assure you
that the management and staff of Daar
Communications PLC, without reservation, join in
the crusade and will be one of your major
partners in the campaign against fake news
because we don’t have a choice. If we don’t do
so, we will be one of the media organizations
that will be encumbered and whose existence
will be endangered by those who are involved in
this ignominious business,” Mr. Akiotu said.
-NAN

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