The International Press Centre on Wednesday in Abuja unveiled a fact-checking platform to enhance the fight against rising information disorder in Nigeria.
Lanre Arogundade, IPC Executive Director, said this at the presentation of the iVerify Nigeria Project.
Arogundade said the platform was to support the media and journalists in conveying credible information to the public.
He said it was important for the media to stop giving space to elected and appointed public office holders who are in the habit of spreading false information.
He said: “Those among them who are found guilty of disinformation, misinformation and mal-information should also be held accountable for their actions.
“Doing this would mean that we have agreed to adopt a holistic approach to fighting information disorder.”
The Executive Director explained that the iVerify project was implemented by the IPC with the support of the United Nations Development Programme and the Government of Spain.
Arogundade said the target was to strengthen the fight against the disturbing phenomenon of information disorder.
According to him, information disorder is exemplified by rising disinformation, misinformation, mal-information and hate speech, especially in the electoral and democratic processes.
He said: “Based on these overarching objectives, the major components of the iVerify project include the establishment of the iVerify technology driven fact checking platform and more.”
Arogundade also disclosed that to strengthen advocacy for the enabling environment for credible information dissemination, the IPC had started the operationalisation of the iVerified Platform.
He said four fact checkers have been engaged to provide Fact Check information for the platform.
“The fact checkers work under the supervision of senior journalists to ensure that ethical and professional standards are adhered to in the process of fact checking,” he added.
The IPC Executive Director, however, said that the iVerify project was only a few months old and under a short term support by the UNDP.
Arogundade added: “We however hope it will be extended.
“And in view of this, IPC hereby seeks support for further donors and development partners as it prepares to widen the scope of the project.
“The summary of the planned expansion are recruitment of more full time fact checkers for the iVerify platform, engagements of journalists and media professionals as freelance fact checkers for the iVerify platform.
“We are also planning on training 1,000 journalists as detectives of disinformation and fact checkers, particularly of electoral information in the 36 States and the FCT between now and the 2027 general election.”
In his message, UNDP Resident Representative, Lealem Dinku, said the iVerify project and the iVerify Nigeria platform concept was conceived by the UNDP to promote information integrity around elections, governance and democratic processes in Nigeria.
Dinku was represented by Matthew Also, Team Lead, Governance, Peace and Security, UNDP.
He said the aim was to deepen democratic culture in Nigeria by converting the negative influence of the proliferation of information disorder in the nation’s polity.
He said: “Information disorders must be checked.
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“This is what the iVerify Nigeria project is set to achieve.
“We must all rally round it to ensure its success through moral, financial and technical support.”