In a discussion with other panelists to promote media freedom and capacity building among hundreds of media organizations across West Africa, the Director-General of Police Public Affairs, ACP David Eklu has cautioned against spreading fake news during the election.
The panel discussion was held at a stakeholders meeting at the West Africa Media Excellence Conference and Award (WAMECA) organized by Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) today, 18th October 2019 at the Swiss Spirit -Alisa Hotel, Accra. The topic for discussion was “Fake News and Elections in Africa”.
The other panelists were Superintendent Gassimou Soumah, the Deputy Public Relations Officer of Guinea National Police and Madam Queeneth Tawo, the Regional Coordinator, Women, Peace and Security (WANEP).
ACP/Eklu praised the Ghana Police for using social media effectively and efficiently to engage the public in the fight against crime and ensure security during the 2016 general election and stated that improvements have been made over the years for the 2020 elections social media use by police to better.
Meanwhile, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Madam Jean Mensa, has revealed that the Commission is developing a comprehensive system to counter fake news ahead of the 2020 general elections.
She said on a weekly basis, the EC battles fake news that seeks to undermine the integrity of the Commissioners.
“We’ve had our own share of fake news and it’s been a baptism of fire. You find that on a weekly basis, fake news is being released…to undermine our work and our processes.
“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.
Jean Mensa made the comments on Friday at 2019 West Africa Media Excellence Conference and Awards (WAMECA) conference on the theme ‘Social Media, Fake News and Elections in Africa.’
WAMECA is an initiative by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) to promote media excellence in the sub-region.