Social media giant, Facebook is set to partner with the Federal Government to check the menace of fake news as the 2019 general elections fast draw near.
TheNewsGuru (TNG) reports Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made this known on Tuesday, saying that the National Campaign Against Fake News has received a boost by the development.
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.
He 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.
Mohammed 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.
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.