2023 General Elections: NITDA issues advisory on fact-checking misinformation, disinformation

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has called on the public to beware of misinformation and disinformation during the general elections.

Mrs Hadiza Umar, Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations of NITDA gave the warning on Thursday in a statement issued in Abuja.

“The internet is a shared resource and it is our collective responsibility to ensure safe use of it by preventing the spread of misinformation and disinformation.

“This can be achieved by flagging and reporting information which we suspect or believe to be false through the appropriate channels provided by the Online Platforms,” Umar said.

Umar also notified the public that there was a Nigeria Fact-checking Coalition (NFC) consisting of fact-checking organisations,civil society groups and some newsrooms.

She said they were collaborating to curb the spread of misinformation and disinformation in Nigeria.

“Nigerians are enjoined to engage them directly to ascertain the veracity of information in circulation,” Umar said.

She also listed FactCheckHub, Africa Check Dubawa, International Centre for Investigative Reporting(ICIR), Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) as members of the coalition.

Other members, she said included FactsMatterNG, The Cable, Daily Trust, Premium Times, The Insight, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) and Digital Africa Research Lab.

Umar said that the advisory was issued pursuant to the Code of Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries.

She added that the Code of Practice could be accessed via: https://nitda.gov.ng/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/APPROVED-NITDA-CODE-OF-PRACTIVE-FOR-INTERACTIVE-COMPUTER-SERVICE-PLATFORMS-INTERNET-INTERMEDIARIES-2022-002.pdf.

Umar urged people to reach out to icsp@nitda.gov.ng for further enquiries.