Bloggers and media producers have been urged to use their platforms to check the spread of fake news and hate speeches.
The charge was given during a recent training in Abuja organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and its partner organization, Media Awareness and Information for All Network (MAIN).
The organisations, through their representatives advised digital media practitioners to steer clear from disseminating fake news and hate speeches.
They also shared and trained attendees on various resources and steps that can be used to verify information.
UNESCO and MAIN addressed media practitioners at a 2 day capacity building workshop held between October 12 and October 13, 2020.
Professor Lai Osho of School of Communication, Lagos State University, who also doubles as the Chairman of the Board for MAIN gave hands on training at the workshop on how Bloggers can distinguish between real/true news and fake news.
While also sharing the objectives of the workshop with the participants, he said the training was aimed at equipping the bloggers and social media with skills and more knowledge on how important they are in the Nigerian society with regards to the kind of information they provide to the public.
He added that over the years, there have been concerns in terms of quality of information that bloggers and influencers provide and the implications of such information to our society.
Earlier, Mr Macaulay Olushola, the National Professional Officer for Communication and Information, at UNESCO Abuja Regional Office said that the capacity building has become necessary for bloggers in Nigeria to enable them be well informed and equipped in identifying fake news and hate speeches.
According to him, proper training is needed to tackle the wide spread of unverified information in the digital space.
Olushola also noted the need for media and Information literacy for all media practitioners in order overcome the prevalent cases of disinformation and misinformation in this 21st Century particularly for the Bloggers and influencers many of whom may not have had formal training in Journalism.
“UNESCO is currently prioritizing Media and Information Literacy for everyone including the younger generation. As it has been considered a viable tool to combat misinformation and disinformation globally,” he added.
On his part, Dr Seyi Soremekun, National Information Officer, United Nations Information Center, spoke extensively on misinformation, disinformation and deep fakes. He shared ways that they can be identified and combated in the media.
“There have been proliferation of robots (bots), applications and tools to invent stories that never happened with the use of deep fakes technology which could pose a lot of danger when such news are being disseminated without proper verification,” he said.
Soremekun advised that with the advancements in technology in communication, bloggers should be wary of deep fakes and bots generated information.