Dec 7 polls: Avoid fake news – NCCE

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The National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) has said it is concerned about the malicious spread of fake news and misinformation targeted at confusing the electorate to vote in a certain direction in the upcoming elections.

According to the NCCE, the trading of insults, peddling of falsehood and deployment of intemperate language in the run up to the 2020 elections is  distressing, especially as the country is just four days away from the polls.

A statement issued on Friday December 4 and signed by Joyce Afutu, Director, Communications and Corporate Affairs at the NCCE defined fake news as a false narrative that is published, aired and promoted as if it were true or factual. It is nothing short of fabrication to make a claim or proclaim support for a certain position, even if it was completely false.

“The Commission is worried that the proliferation of social media platforms is facilitating the publication and spread of inaccurate and untrue stories as if they were correct and factual. Citizens are hereby reminded that the creation and distribution of fake news, if not checked, could plunge our society into chaos.

“A seemingly innocent fake news that makes false claims about the winner of elections can be dangerous, which could lead to disruptive behaviour and incidents of violence and civil unrest. Thus, to safeguard the peace and stability of our country, NCCE reminds Ghanaian voters to critically consider the source of the news they access. The Commission urges the public, to be wary when reposting, retweeting, and forwarding information that has not been verified. The rule of thumb in reducing the spread of fake news is that if you are uncertain as to the authenticity of the piece of information, please hold off on sharing with others.

“To this end the Commission appeals to the media to be circumspect and vigilant in their reportage, and the exercise of their right to be measured in what they share in order not to further stoke tensions during this election period. Time and again, NCCE has not minced words in advising political parties to campaign on issues. This is because the Commission has realised that trading insults, and inciting people to fight and intimidate political opponents is not healthy in sustaining the gains Ghana has made in its democratic practise. Having come this far as a country in our democratic journey in the fourth republic, the NCCE entreats all political actors to eschew political mudslinging, attacks, and all deadly machinations that do not auger well for anyone. This is why the Commission calls on Ghanaians to reject politicians who are intemperate, insolent and continue to trade terrible insult of their opponents.

“We also entreat elections observer missions both national and international to take critical look at the media landscape with an eagle’s eye on fake news to help dispel the mischief. With the hope that Ghana would emerge victorious in this 8th elections under the Fourth

Republic, the NCCE further urges every eligible voter to vote, stay calm, be tolerant and conduct themselves peacefully in order to make Ghana proud again.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

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