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February 22, 2024
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Group photograph of officials at the public presentation of ‘iVerify Nigeria Project, a platform to support the media and journalists in conveying credible information to the public in Abuja.

IPC unveils fact-checking platform to promote information integrity

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By Deborah Coker

The International Press Centre (IPC), on Wednesday in Abuja, unveiled a fact-checking platform to enhance the fight against rising information disorder in Nigeria.

Mr Lanre Arogundade, IPC Executive Director, said at the public presentation of the ‘iVerify Nigeria Project, that the platform was to support the media and journalists in conveying credible information to the public.

He said that 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.

“Those among them who are found guilty of disinformation, misinformation, and malinformation 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”, he said.

The executive director explained  that the iVerify project was implemented by the IPC with the support of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Spain.

He said that 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, malinformation and hate speech, especially in the electoral and democratic processes.

“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.

“We however hope it would 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 1000 journalists as detectives of disinformation and fact checkers, particularly of electoral information in the 36 States and the FCT between now and 2027 general elections”, he added.

In his message, UNDP Resident Representative, Mr Lealem Dinku said that the iVerify project and the iVerify Nigeria platform concept was conceived by the UNDP to promote information integrity around election, governance and democratic processes in Nigeria.

Dinku was represented by Mr Matthew Also, Team Lead, Governance, Peace and Security, UNDP.

He said that 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.

“Information disorders must be checked. 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.” (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

Philip Daniel Yatai

Principal Correspondent, NAN Abuja
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