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Thursday, February 2, 2023

‘Emulate Facebook’ – Nigerian government urges Twitter, YouTube, others to stop spreading fake news

The Nigerian government under President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the owners of Meta Platform, which include Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp for their commitment to checking the spread of fake news and disinformation ahead of Nigeria’s 2023 elections

This is as it urged other social networking sites to take similar steps to address disinformation and make political advertisements more transparent.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the call at the 12th edition of the ministerial scorecard presentation of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration (2015-2023), in Abuja on Wednesday, December 14, 2022.

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At the briefing, which featured his counterpart in the Ministry of Niger-Delta Affairs, Chief Umana Umana, the Minister said, “During one of our sessions here, I spoke about the danger posed by fake news and disinformation to the 2023 elections.

“In this regard, I want to acknowledge the announcement by Meta, the owners of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp that it will take clearly outlined steps to protect the integrity of the forthcoming elections. Specifically, meta detail the actions it plans to take to combat disinformation or to make political advertising more transparent.

“The company committed to this actions before, during and after the elections. This is commendable and it is in line with what we have always said, that the platform owners have a big role to play in checking the spread of fake news, disinformation and hate speech via the platforms Meta has demonstrated a great sense of responsibility and I hope the company will live up to its promise.

“We also urge other platform owners like owners of YouTube, and others, owners of Tik Tok, Twitter, and telegram group incorporated, owners of telegram messenger to emulate Meta by taking positive steps to check the spread of fake news, disinformation, and hate speech via their platform during, and after the 2023 elections.”

Meanwhile, Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo has sent a wake-up call to all African leaders saying the time is ripe for the continent to assume its rightful position in the world.

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Speaking in Washington DC during the opening of the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit, in the USA, Akufo-Addo said that it’s high time African leaders must stop begging the developed world and concentrated on spending African money on the continent.

He said that when Africa does the right thing they won’t need to ask for respect from anyone as it will naturally come.

“Africans are more resilient outside the continent than inside. We must bear in mind that to the outside world, nothing like Nigeria, Ghana or Kenya, we are simply Africans. Our destiny as people depends on each other.

He warned that anybody in the position of leader in Africa must see an urgent responsibility of making Africa attractive to its people by providing quality education, and skills that run the modern economy. We must work together to change Africa’s narrative which is characterized by disease, hunger, poverty and illegal migration.

“No matter where you come from, as long as you are black, you are African. We must make Africa conducive for progress and prosperity.”

He insisted that the time to make change is now as the leaders of the African continent have run out of excuses, “we have the manpower, we should have the political will, it is time to make Africa work.

If we stop being beggars and spend African money inside the continent, Africa will not need to ask for respect from anyone, we will get the respect we deserve. If we make it prosperous as it should be, respect will follow.”

In his opening remarks, the 71st United States Secretary of State, Antony John Blinken said that the importance of the diaspora to the past, present and future of both African nations and the United States is why this is one of the very first events of the Africa Leaders Summit.

He said that the United States is committed to ensuring that young people can continue to bring their talents and hard work to the benefit of people across the continent and to the benefit of people in the United States.

“We’ve got a number of programs that are doing just that programs like the Young African Leaders Initiative and through our economic development programs, like the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs program. Now, since its inception in 2019, that program has provided more than 5,400 women throughout Africa with the training and the networks that they need to start and to scale small businesses.”

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