Media and civil society leaders briefed on tackling disinformation
Editors of media outlets and members of civil society in the Central African Republic (CAR) were invited to an awareness-raising session on combating disinformation held in Bangui on 14-15 June.
Disinformation and “fake news” are becoming increasingly widespread in the CAR, exacerbated by new technologies, including social networks and other communication channels.
Funded by MINUSCA, the initiative is aimed at strengthening the involvement of bloggers and media outlets in the fight against hate speech and incitement to violence on social networks.
Organizers hope the forum will draw on the synergy of the trio of actors in attendance – the Association of Central African Bloggers, the Consortium of Journalists Against Disinformation and the “Fake Check” Association of Central Africa – to advance their cause.
Among the participants was Serge Lambas, the editor of the Etoile newspaper. He warned of the dangers of misinformation while urging his journalist counterparts to respect the ethics of their trade, in order to effectively contribute to the fight against hate speech and its adverse effects on social cohesion. “As journalists, we must provide information with verified sources so that it benefits the population, in accordance with our professional ethics,” he said.
Thibaut Logbama Mokole, secretary general of an association representing victims of disinformation, believes the awareness-raising initiative will help curb the scourge of disinformation in the country. “After this training, we will go back to our respective bases to show our members how to use social networks, especially Facebook, and how to avoid publishing false information.”