Politics: Nigeria receives a boost from Facebook to help fight fake news ahead of 2019 elections

Nigeria receives a boost from Facebook to help fight fake news ahead of 2019 elections

Lai Mohammed, Nigeria's Minister of Information and Culture says Facebook is ready to support the country in the fight against fake news.

The Nigerian government has received a boost from the giant social networking platform, Facebook, to help fight fake news in the populous African nation.

Lai Mohammed, Nigeria's Minister of Information and Culture, stated this when he visited Daar Communications, owners of AIT and Raypower, in Abuja on Tuesday, October 9, 2018.

The visitation was in furtherance of the National Campaign Against Fake News in the country and coming less than 5 months to the general elections.

Launched on July 11, 2018, the minister said the campaign 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.

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“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,” the minister said.

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National Campaign Against Fake News

In July 2018, the Nigerian government launched the National Campaign Against Fake News to combat the global menace in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country.

The government had described the menace as a time bomb.

Also, the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) had expressed concern over the proliferation of fake news platforms on the internet, saying that the information purveyed on such platforms are fueling killings across the country.

The Centre described the phenomenon as a potential threat to social co-existence of the country and urged the government to take decisive action to tame the menace.

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