The Federal Government of Nigeria is trying on many fronts to contain fake news among which are campaigns to media houses and cooperation with Facebook and Google. Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed said on Wednesday.
Mohammed, who was featured on a Nigeria Television Authority programme, ‘Tuesday Live,’ said the government would not be distracted by fake news in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
He stated that “On Facebook, for instance, anytime we flag any particular item or story, it will be stamped “FAKE” and be removed from the platform and this has gone a long way in checkmating this pandemic.
“We have made reports to various security organisations on this and a lot of things are being down to track them. However, what is needed is to be educating Nigerians to shun these purveyors and know that there are only two sources for credible information on COVID-19.
“It is either from the daily media conference by the task force and the media appearances of members of the task force or the website of National Centre for Disease Control which updates its information on this pandemic every minute.”
Responding to claims that members of the Presidential Task Force for the Control of Coronavirus collect N500, 000 daily sitting allowance, the minister branded purveyors of such “fake news” as “evil”.
He said: “The motives behind the upsurge are to distract the government and discredit the main actors so that they can be battling with the fake news instead of COVID-19.
“Some of the fake news are totally ridiculous but some are a mixture of fiction and science that make them sometimes believable.”