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2023: Fake news a threat to national security, INEC tells online publishers

  Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has called on online publishers to join the fight agains...


 

Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has called on online publishers to join the fight against the spread of fake news in the country.

 

Yakubu spoke at the 6th annual conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) in Lagos on Thursday.

 

The INEC chairman said the fight against fake news has become imperative as the 2023 general election closes in.

 

Yakubu, who spoke on the topic “2023 Elections: Managing the process for credible outcome”, said the election is a multi-stakeholder activity.

 

 “Fake news is a threat to national security and all hands must be on deck to check it. Managing this process requires in part, concerted efforts,” he said.

 

“We have noticed that your members have so far steered clear of fake news. We urge you to do more.

 

“GOCOP should come out strongly in the battle against fake news which is clearly a challenge to the electoral process going forward.

 

 “We are happy to note that you have your peer review mechanism using your leaders to regularly remind every member of the need for credible journalism.

 

“This is highly commendable. We urge you to extend this beyond GOCOP to serve as a bulwark against the menace of fake news.”

 

The INEC chair commended GOCOP’s effort to ensure a credible election in 2023 and enjoined other stakeholders to support the commission.

 

“As the commission is doing its best to ensure a credible process, we also appeal to the media for continuous partnership,” he added.

 

 “Managing the electoral process for a credible outcome is the responsibility of all of us.

 

“As campaign activities get underway, the media will continue to play an important role. A lot of the activities will take place in the media of which the new media is a critical player.

 

“We must continue to work together against the spread of fake news, misinformation and disinformation that seek to create or exacerbate tension or de-legitimise processes and outcomes.”

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