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Creating news with the intent to deceive

Wed, 2 Dec 2020 Source: Jonathan Mensah

The rapid adoption of social media has led to a rise in information sharing among users, with fake news becoming a component of our digital routines. The spread of disinformation is in part attributed to social media failing to verify the authenticity of a news item.

Fake news is false information that is broadcast or published as news for fraudulent or politically motivated purposes. Fake news can cause significant damage because they foster anti-democratic thinking. Fake news can cause mistrust and skeptical thinking, encourage dissent and deflect attention from real news. Social media websites have proved to be an easy venue for distributing fake news.

Bogus stories can be tweeted or posted from a mobile smartphone and quickly distribute to a large audience through retweets and sharing. When fake news is used to spread propaganda, it can be dangerous. To verify the accuracy of a news story, it can be to query a search engine in order to confirm that legitimate, traditional news sources are also covering the story. Fake news stories often have only one source.

I recently received a fake news from a mobile smartphone through WhatsApp that the British authorities have intercepted a cash amount of £26 million in suitcases and the British special fraud office is investigating. The government of President Akuffo Addo was accused of siphoning monies out of the country in view of the forthcoming elections. The special fraud office has not made any reference of this fake news since. The argument between the two political parties in Ghana seems to have died down.

The second episode was the press conference of the National Democratic Party when it was claimed that another video has been made by the National Democratic Congress to discredit the late former president Jerry John Rawlings. I can not imagine why the late president should be a target. Now the argument is on a third video accusing the president of Ghana for taking bribes.

The purpose of this inaccurate information is to mislead, deceive and damage the reputation of the president. The fact is that the people of Ghana are intelligent enough to know the truth. Dear readers judge for your selves and do not allow deception of political parties that can not be trusted influence your decision to vote for the right party. The authorities should help to curb this malicious practice from our society.

Columnist: Jonathan Mensah