Thursday, July 12, 2018

FG launches campaign against fake news, its threat to democracy - ITREALMS Online

The Federal Government (FG) has launched campaign against what it tagged as ‘fake news’ in the nation’s capital, Abuja, and declared it as threat to democracy, reports ITRealms.

Disclosing this to ITRealms, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said Wednesday that the campaign has become imperative to avoid the dangerous dimensions of fake news, which includes threat to peace and security.

“There is an epidemic sweeping the world. If left unchecked, it could be worse than all the plagues that the world has recorded put together. It is a clear and present danger to global peace and security. It is a threat to democracy. It is the epidemic of Fake News. Mixed with hate speech, it is a disaster waiting to happen,” he lamented.

Lai Mohammed cited an instance with the nation’s media, saying epidemic is even worse because fake news, in most cases are designed to misinform, undermine confidence in the media, stressing that once the people lose confidence in the media, the society is in trouble.

“For the record, the free online encyclopaedia defines fake news as 'a type of yellow journalism or propaganda that consists of deliberate misinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional print and broadcast news media or online social media. This false information is mainly distributed by social media, but is periodically circulated through mainstream media,” he said.

The Minister also noted that fakes news is not new, but pointed out that what has made it an issue of concern is the means and speed at which it is now spreading around the world, via social media.

“Anyone with a phone and internet access can author and make fake news go viral in minutes. With the number of mobile phone users in the world expected to pass the 5 billion mark by 2019, you can see the kind of crisis we face,” he warned.

Uboshe Uboshe/GEE

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Pix 1: Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (second right); Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Deaconess Grace Isu Gekpe (Extreme right); Special Assistant to the President on Information and Culture 1, Mr. Segun Adeyemi (second left) and the Special Assistant to the President on Information and Culture 2, Mr. Williams Adeleye (Extreme right) at a World Press Conference to launch the National Campaign Against Fake News in Abuja on Wednesday.

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