Presidency reveals how it will fight fake news on social media

President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Adviser on Digital Media, Tolu Ogunlesi, has revealed that the government is working on a social media policy, which will be ready before the first half of this year is over.

He stated this on the second day of the Social Media Week in Lagos, during an interactive session moderated by the Editor of The Scoop, Stanley Azuakola.

Ogunlesi admitted that government was still catching up with social media and its intricacies, but made it clear that people needed to be educated on the consequences of posting false news online.

He also said that self regulation among journalists, bloggers and owners of social media platforms, would go a long way to curbing the spread of fake news.

“Facebook and Google need to penalize people that publish fake news,” Ogunlesi said.

Ogunlesi said that the regulatory laws on hate speech and libel needed to be modified, to suit the rapidly changing social and digital media space of this new age, while admitting that government was still catching up with social media and its intricacies.

With reference to the ongoing Xenophobia in South Africa, the CNN Award winner remarked: “Some of the videos been circulated about Xenophobia in South Africa are fake and have nothing to do with South Africa, so we need to be careful.”

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