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Madam Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), has revealed that plans are underway for the commission to come out with a comprehensive system to counter fake news ahead of the 2020 general elections.
Speaking at the 2019 West Africa Media Excellence Conference and Awards (WAMECA) conference, she mentioned that the commission struggles to deal with fake news which are aimed at undermining the work of the commissioners on a weekly basis.
The conference was held on the theme “Social Media, Fake News and Elections in Africa”.
“What we have tried to do is to counter these fake pieces of information that go out in a timely manner; and as we head towards the election we have tried to be ahead of fake news on all our processes and what we are planning to do…and we hope that will be some sort of counter,” she said.
She believes a team put in place to rapidly respond to fake news will enhance the credibility of the 2020 polls.
WAMECA is an initiative by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) to promote media excellence in the sub-region.
WAMECA is a two-part event: a conference and an awards ceremony for journalists. The awards ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, October 19, 2019, at the Swiss Spirit Alisa Hotel, Accra.
Publishing of fake news is a phenomenon that is fast catching up worldwide. It involves a deliberate spreading of false stories through traditional media and most especially on social media.
The false information is often caused by reporters paying sources for stories, an unethical practice called cheque book journalism.