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#SMWLagos2019: Google, Facebook, PremiumTimes identify news literacy as guide against fake news

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Panelists from Google, Facebook, PremiumTimes and the Guardian.ng on Monday said that news literacy and stiffer sanctions would curb fake news especially  in this era of election.

The panelist aired this view on at the Social Media Week  (SMWLagos2019) while discussing on ”Gate  Keeping in the Era of Fake News ; The  Impact of Social Media  During  Election”. The session was organised by The Guardian Nigeria.

According to the Head of Public Policy, West and Central Africa, Facebook, Adaora Ikenze, said the Social Media giant had  on January 15, 2019 placed a ban on foreign  advert for political parties as it regards Nigeria’s forthcoming elections.

Ikenze said that the ban was to eliminate foreign influence on the country’s election

Meanwhile, she said statistics shows Nigerians aren’t showing enough concerns to report purported Fake News or Content, whereas the country generates a lot of such contents.

”In the past we are aware that there had been misuse of Facebook. Facebook is not the Policeman of the world, we don’t allow content that is disturbing to remain on the  platform.

”Our role is to build a community to engage with each other and it is our duty to make people  feel safe on the platform.

Ikenze however, urged Nigerians to report to Facebook on disturbing content rather than complaining off line.

The Head,  Investigations, Premium Times, Nicholas  Ibekwe,  decried that disinformation  was as old as man but social media had added scale and speed to fake news.

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Ibekwe said that fact checking and media literacy can be used to check fake news.

According to him, the only  way  to quickly  check fake news is through  news literacy which some journalist do not understand.

He further called on social media platforms to invest on media literacy.

On his part, the Head of Communications at Google  Africa, Mr Taiwo Ogunlade, said that Google was educating users on flagging information that were not factual.

Panel discussion

He said that within 24 hours any flagged content would be investigated and owners of such platforms sanctioned  or outright removal.

The Social Media Week is a is an annual event  which commenced on Feb. 4-8 tagged  Stories. (BAN)

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