Coronavirus: Facebook To Work With Nigeria To Check False, Misleading Reports

Coronavirus updates

The social networking site, Facebook, has pledged to partner with

Federal Government to check the spread of fake news and disinformation

in the wake of the outbreak of the Coronavirus in Nigeria.

 

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who

announced this at a news briefing in Abuja on Friday, said it’s

obvious that the purveyors of fake news will scale up their act to

create panic and spread disinformation, following the confirmation of

the disease in Nigeria.

 

“We know that at times like this, purveyors of fake news and

disinformation usually ramp up their acts. We are therefore urging

Nigerians not to fall for the antics of purveyors of fakes news and

disinformation

 

“Fortunately, Facebook is working with us in this regard. They have

asked Nigerians to report any false or misleading report on Facebook

and Instagram pages so they can immediately bring them down.

 

“They have also assured us that they are taking preemptive action to

remove any false or harmful messages about this epidemic and public

health in Nigeria 24/7. All that Nigerians are required to do is to

flag any false or misleading report on the epidemic and Facebook will

remove any such report,” he said.

 

The Minister said media agencies of the Federal Ministry of

Information and Culture, like the NTA, FRCN, NAN, and VON, have been

directed to intensify their ongoing sensitization and enlightenment

campaigns to arm Nigerians with the necessary information to stay

well.

 

He said measures being taken by the agencies include enlightenment

jingles on radio and television, up-to-date reports on the efforts

being made by Nigerian health authorities to ensure proper screening

at the nation’s gateways and also handle possible cases, continued

airing of documentaries on the disease by the NTA and SMS

sensitization messages being sent to Nigerians by the News Agency of

Nigeria.

 

Alhaji Mohammed said the National Orientation Agency (NOA), with its

wide reach (offices in all the 774 local governments), is pushing the

various sensitization/enlightenment programmes to all the nooks and

crannies of the country by translating the campaign to the major

indigenous languages to expand their reach.

 

He added that Features on the disease (prevention, treatment, etc.)

are also being written and disseminated.

 

The Minister therefore appealed to all Nigerians not to panic, as the

Government is well-equipped to detect and handle any possible case or

cases.

 

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