Election Results: NOA storm streets of Abuja on factcheck sensitization
A few days to the general election, the National Orientation Agency (NOA), on Thursday, stormed the streets of Abuja on an advocacy road-show to sensitise and educate Nigerians on the need to fact-check election results information before sharing.
The staff of the agency wearing T-Shirts bearing, the theme of the 2023 general elections, ‘factcheck before believing’; factcheckb4believing, ‘shun disinformation’; ‘shun hate speech’ and ‘for a Nigeria’ marched through the streets of Abuja back to the office.
Addressing journalists during the march, the Director of Special Duties and State Operation of NOA, David Akoji, said that the campaigns across the country were against the twin vices.
He cautions Nigerians to desist from believing and sharing things seen on social media without verification as it may lead to social unrest among the citizens.
Akoji said: “We have been monitoring the social media space and we are seeing the effect and impact that disinformation and misinformation are playing in building the perception of the members of the public as we draw close to the general election.
“This disinformation sometimes comes in form of deep fake videos that make people to say things that they didn’t really say or by way of misinformation, harvesting videos that come from the past and contextualising them in the present and making people say things that they actually are not saying in the present.
“All of this is feeding into the kind of perception that people are having about various candidates who are on offer at various levels of the election. We have also seen that some of this disinformation have the capacity to instigate violence and hate, we have curated some of them.”
Adding that “So, as we are on the eve of the election, we are going on the streets on a motorised sticker campaign to further raise awareness of the enlarged public on the fact that they don’t need to accept everything they read on the social media hook, line and sinker, that they should stop, reflect and fact check, ask questions before you share widely.
“Because of the advent of digital media, the speed at which information travels is unimaginable these days. So it becomes extremely important for us to educate the public not to accept what they see till they fact-check so that we can have a peaceful general election.”