Unbridled citizen journalism, fake news, and deliberate misinformation are very serious menaces to society's peace, law, and order.
Here, we are reviewing the contributions of three parties, Google, Tiktok, and Safeguarding Online Civic Space toward election results free of fake news and misinformation.
In recent times, our society has witnessed a sharp rise in resorts to sensationalism, fake news, and deliberate misinformation to push the agenda or narrative of the originators depending on their prejudiced motives.
Fake news can lead to disastrous consequences, it qualifies as an enemy of the state.
This is why all efforts must be aggregated to neutralize or mitigate fake news and deliberate misinformation, especially in regard to the upcoming 2023 presidential election.
In view of the above and ahead of the 2023 general elections, a group, Safeguarding Online Civic Space, has called on the media for the protection of online space.
According to the group, this can be achieved by combating misinformation, disinformation, and malformation.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, the youth-led group Chaired by Funmi Akinyele disclosed that some individuals, either by omission or commission, have distorted information, leading to misinformation, disinformation, and malformation.
She added that the misuse and repression of both offline and digital civic spaces have contributed to the perceptions, mostly negative, of members of the international community about Nigeria.
It called on the media to support their efforts “to combat voter misinformation and disinformation, improve inclusive voter and civic education and generate evidence regarding the openness and integrity of the digital civic space while tracking the political, economic environment by giving the project the required publicity so that it gets to every part of the country.”
On its part, Tiktok, in partnership with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has launched product features that support its long-term vision to help Nigerians and other global users access factual and authoritative information about the Nigerian general elections.
In a similar development, Google recently unveiled a new portal, the Nigeria Elections Trends Hub, that will provide a platform for Nigerians to search and discover trending interests related to the presidential and vice presidential candidates, parties, and issues through the lens of Google Trends.
With all of the above, Nigeria is hopefully set for an all-important, free, and fair 2023 presidential election.
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