Help Us Fight Fake News, Nigeria Begs UNESCO
Fake news is everywhere on social networks and beamed to Nigerians who have in their hands, smart phones, and the Nigerian government is seeking the support of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as it tries to control the spread.
The nation's request was put before UNESCO on Tuesday by the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, at a meeting with a delegation of UNESCO, led by its Assistant Director-General, Africa, Mr Edward Matako.
One thing the minister highlighted was that the new media and social networks had changed the dissemination of information and he wants the UNESCO to adapt a measure that could address this as part of its support.
"Over the years, UNESCO has played significant roles in the information sector, especially in capacity building and getting our voice heard on global platforms.
"Things have, however, changed significantly as people no longer depend on print, TV, radio to form opinion with the advent of the social media.
"With telephone, everyone has become a journalist, opinion molder and information disseminator.
"The outcome is fake news and misinformation and the government is more on the receiving end.
"We, therefore, appeal to UNESCO to review its mode of operation and assist in addressing the issue of fake news through the social media," Mohammed said.
The minister said that in addition to its traditional role of safeguarding cultural heritages, UNESCO should take a look at the new digital creative economy.
According to him, Nigeria has become a powerhouse in Africa’s creative industry and the globe, especially in music and films.
Mohammed solicited UNESCO’s assistance in developing content and building capacity of the young ones.