The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has asked Ghanaians to be wary of fake news sources that may call winners of this year’s elections.
It cautioned that false news about winners of elections could be dangerous, lead to disruptive behaviour, incidents of violence and civil unrest.
The Commission has urged 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 information, please hold off on sharing with others,” a statement signed by the Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs at the NCCE, Joyce Afutu, urged.
On the back of allegations of fake news peddled among the leading political parties to ostensibly court last minute votes, the NCCE expressed worry 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.”
The statement said “the NCCE hereby reminds citizens that the creation and distribution of fake news, if not checked, could plunge our society into chaos and urged all to critically consider the source of the news they access in these times.”
To this end, the Commission appealed to the media to be circumspect and vigilant in their reportage and be measured in what they share in order not to further stoke tensions during the period.
To political parties, the NCCE entreated them to desist from intemperate language, which could intimidate their opponents, and incite people to fight and erode gains made in sustaining Ghana’s democratic credentials.
The statement said “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.”
The Commission called on Ghanaians to reject politicians who use intemperate, insolent and language against their opponents.
The NCCE appealed to both local and international election observers to be mindful of fake news about the polls, to help dispel any 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,” the statement said.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH
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