Ahead of next year’s general election, experts on internet and new media have called for all inclusive strategies to combat the menace of fake news, hate speech and threat to right of expression.
They made the call in Abuja at 2018 Internet Freedom Forum organised by Paradigm initiative in collaboration with Ford Foundation. Mozila, Premium Times, Civicus, The Guardian, Microsoft, google and the Volunteers.
It is well known that that fake news and hate speech are realities as multiple social media platform churn out high volume of unverifiable news.
The Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative, Mr. Gbenga Sesan explained that the forum above all intended to provide the rights of the citizens against action that may infringe on their rights to the freedom of speech and create balance between the citizens and government.
To achieve the objective of combating fake news, an Abuja based based publisher Oke Epia noted that there was need for all stakeholders to join the conversation on issues bothering on digital threat, hate speech and fake news.
The Public Policy Manager for Facebook in Africa, Ms Akua Gyeke told the gathering that Facebook depended largely on Online Community to report abuse against human rights, democratic norms or any activity that threatened social stability.
A panellist at the forum, the Country Director, Development Alternative Incorporated, Dr Joe Abah stressed the need for Government to be proactive in engaging the media to manage information in a way that counter fake news.
One of the partners at the forum, the Executive Director, Premium Times Dr Dapo Olorunyomi advocates media literacy training to combat fake news.
The two day forum had participants from different countries including, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States of America