PANELLISTS at the Nigerian Fact-Checkers Coalition Conference in Abuja on Tuesday asked Twitter and Facebook to take more steps in checking the spread of fake news.
They expressed concern that fake news is being spread without much restrictions by owners of the social media platforms.
The panellists urged platforms like Twitter and Facebook to be more active in combating misinformation.
In a panel session with the theme, ‘Tackling misinformation and disinformation in the 2023 election’, Managing Editor of The ICIR, Ajibola Amzat, urged fact-checkers to put Twitter and Facebook on their toes to stop the spread of fake news.
“Fake news travels faster. This is why the newsroom is key in halting misinformation. Fact-checkers must put social media site owners on their toes in curbing wide and fast spread of fake news,” Amzat said.
He also called for mainstreaming of fact-checking in newsrooms to ensure proper gate-keeping of published contents.
Amzat, in the same vein, advocated continuous training of journalists on basic fact-checking skills to enhance their work.
Executive Director, Daily Trust Foundation, Dr. Theophilus Abbah, said bigger media platforms should collaborate in sharing fact-checked information and debunking fake news.
“We need more newsroom collaboration by traditional media outlets taking out few minutes of their time to debunk fake news. It gives more credence to our efforts in curbing the spread of misinformation.”
Another panelist, Kayla Megwa of Channels Television said journalists must not fail in the job of fact-checking.
“The world has changed; validation is key to curb the spread of inaccurate information. Journalists must fact-check every day,” Megwa said.
She stressed that including fact-checking in the newsroom is key in halting misinformation.
Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.