The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has warned voters in Edo State, South-South Nigeria, about a possible surge in the spread of fake news in the off-cycle gubernatorial election day.
Voters in Edo State will elect a governor on Saturday, September 19, 2020.
The nonprofit, in a press statement released on Thursday, September 17, 2020, after launching its Election Analysis Centre, said the disinformation ecosystem in Edo State is driven on different social media platforms.
“Both the APC and PDP in Edo state have dedicated media teams with clearly defined structures designed to maximise their online presence,” CDD observed.
“While the PDP is using targeted and sponsored messages on both Instagram and Twitter, the APC is supporting a structured team of up to 300 canvassers spread across Facebook, Twitter, Nairaland and WhatsApp groups.
“In addition to attempts at discrediting their political opponents, disinformation narratives have also turned against the electoral management body – INEC.
“Fake news peddlers have been targeting INEC intending to delegitimise what it does and create suspicion in the mind of the public. The two major parties have engaged in disinformation campaigns with allegations of bias against INEC.”
CDD said fake news, misinformation and disinformation could hamper voter enthusiasm, encourage voter apathy, and likely cause electoral violence.
“Considering the role old videos and pictures played in the pre-election environment, we expect the same to take centre stage on election day alongside the circulation of false results,” the organisation concluded.
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