INEC, MacArthur Synergise to Tackle Fake News, Doctored Videos

Emameh Gabriel in Abuja 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has synergised MacArthur Foundation to tackle fake news through the social media and its possible threats on the electoral integrity in Nigeria.

The commission said the 2023 general election would be the mother of all elections in the history of the country looking at the strength of the major contenders across political parties.

INEC’s Director, Voters Card Registration, Mr. Victor Aluko spoke at the inauguration of a new application designed by Rise Network and sponsored by MacArthur Foundation to address the challenges of fake news and doctored videos.

Aluko said the INEC was worried with the level of fake news in recent times, especially on election related issues, expressing gratitude to Rise Networks for developing an app that could help combat fake news, disinformation and misinformation”

He recounted how the commission had been faced with challenges of debunking doctored videos designed “to mislead the public, especially a recent one that his signature was forged on statement he did not release. 

“I come here to identify with this organisation and to also solicit official collaboration in this area of combating all these issues of fake news. We are going into what we call possibly let me just use the term mother of elections.

“We are going to a very serious election, a very serious election that will be contested seriously by very powerful, particularly leaders more than any time in the history of a country. 

“There will be a combination of both fake news, misinformation and disinformation. We are looking to how we are going to manage our results to make sure that people do not misinform Nigerians. When we have this type of app from Rise Networks, we tend to identify with them.” 

Also speaking, Deputy Country Director, MacArthur Foundation, Africa Office, Mr Dayo Olaide expressed delight to partner the developers to bring to the Nigerian public what could help manage information during next month elections. 

Olaide said it was very critical for Nigerians “to acknowledge the threats that is facing democracy globally. Democracy is facing serious threats. These threats manifest differently.

“If you look into the direction of the United States, for example, which is considered one of the oldest and probably the most stable democracies, the recent event of the January 6, which is now being described as an insurrection.”

Olaide explained the public need “to begin to pay more attention to electoral accountability, the actions and inactions, the expressions, the statements that are made by those who are responsible or in charge of running our affairs.”

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