23.1 C

Misinformation: US, Nigeria face similar problems – Diplomat




THE Embassy of the United States (US) in Abuja has said the problem of misinformation during electioneering campaigns which Nigeria is faced with in the build-up to 2023 general elections is not peculiar to the country.

Speaking at the 2022 conference of the Nigerian Fact-Checkers Coalition in Abuja on Tuesday, a representative of the US Embassy, Robert Gabor, noted that the US is also confronted with challenges posed by misinformation and fake news.


2023: ICIR Executive Director, Mac-Arthur Foundation raise concerns over state-sponsored misinformation

2023: Nigerian fact-checkers warn politicians against misinformation

Meedan offers grants to combat climate misinformation

ANALYSIS: How misinformation almost marred 2022 Ekiti governorship election

- Advertisement -

Shedding light on the similarities between the two countries, Gabor said, “We are both large and diverse democracies. We have open media debate and active public participation in civil society and all aspects of civic life.

“So its no surprising that we also share common challenges around disinformation and the challenges it poses to our civic and democratic institutions.”

Gabor explained that the prevalence of fake news in the society was due to the proliferation of digital technological platforms.

“We are using technology to do business and receive news, but just as that technology is networking us all together, it is also making it much easier to take advantage of the fact that we form our opinions through the combination of facts, knowledge and emotions. That creates a fertile ground for the use of technology to advance disinformation and misinformation. It is essentially an ubiquitous phenomenon,” he said.

The US Embassy official noted that “a recent Oxford University study found that in 81 countries, there were developed industrial professional groups focused on manipulating the public through the media”.

“It happened in the US and even here in Nigeria,” he added.

- Advertisement -

However, to tackle fake news, Gabor said all hands must be on deck.

“There is truth and there are lies. Lies can be told for power and profit and each of us has a duty and responsibility to defend the truth and defeat the lies”, he said, paraphrasing a quote by US President Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, The ICIR earlier reported that the Executive Director of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, Dayo Aiyetan, and the Mac-Arthur Foundation, at the Nigerian Fact-Checkers Coalition conference, raised concerns over state-sponsored misinformation ahead of the 2023 general elections.

According to Aiyetan, “Politicians in this season will deliberately weaponise misinformation and we must guard against that because of Nigeria’s corporate existence.”

Author profile

Sinafi Omanga is a journalist with The ICIR. His Twitter handle is @OmangaSinafi and Email: somanga@icirnigeria.org

Support the ICIR

We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.


If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Support the ICIR

We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.



Student critic apologises to Aisha Buhari, deactivates social media accounts

A STUDENT Aminu Adamu has apologised to the wife of the President, Aisha Buhari,...

No elected federal official, appointee will earn more than civil servants – Peter Obi

LABOUR Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has said no federal public servant, including...

Naira redesign: Presidential endorsement not sufficient to legitimise process – Falana

HUMAN rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has faulted the recent endorsement of the naira redesign...

ECOWAS to get new complex in Abuja by 2025

NIGERIAN President Muhammadu Buhari has laid the foundation of the new ECOWAS Headquarters Complex...

2023: Peter Obi promises to increase power generation to 25,000mw by 2025

LABOUR Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has promised to increase the country's power...

Most Read


Subscribe to our newsletter