2023: NITDA Moves to Curtail Hate Speech, Fake News by Online Publishers

…Fact-checking misinformation and disinformation on Online platforms, social media

By Seun Adams

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), wishes to call the attention of Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries aka Online Platforms), concerning the spread of false information barely 3 days too February 25 election.

According to NITDA, the internet is a shared resource, and it is our collective responsibility to ensure safe use by fact-checking false information targeted to misinform or dis-inform Nigerians.

The agency said: “One objective of the code of practice for interactive computer service platforms/internet intermediaries, developed in consultation with stakeholders, sets out measures to combat online harms such as misinformation and disinformation.

According to the Code in Part V, all Online Platforms are mandated to: 

“Engage the services of certified fact-checkers to identify information targeted to dis-inform or misinform Users in Nigeria.

“Where information is reported and confirmed to be false, adequate measures should be taken to provide a correct or factual version of events from National and International authoritative sources where applicable.

“Consequently, Online Platforms are hereby notified of the existence of a Nigerian Fact-checking Coalition (NFC), which consists of fact-checking organisations, civil societies, and newsrooms that are collaborating to curb the spread of misinformation and disinformation in Nigeria.

The Members of the Coalition include: FactCheckHub, Africa Check, Dubawa, International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID), FactsMatterNG, The Cable, Daily Trust, Premium Times, The Insight, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Digital Africa Research Lab.

This Call is issued to serve as a reminder to all online platforms, international and domestic news agencies, bloggers, social media influencers, etc. to fact-check problematic information that is reported and confirmed to be false to avoid the spread of misinformation and disinformation.

The Code of Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries can 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

For enquiries, please contact icsp@nitda.gov.ng

Signed; Mrs. Hadiza Umar, fnipr 

Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations 


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