A one-day intensive fact-checking training was organised by “FactcheckElection” in collaboration with “Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative” to equip participants with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively combat fake news and misinformation.
The Executive Director of Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative, Jimoh Nurah-Sanni, welcomed attendees to the workshop on fact-checking elections and acknowledged the presence of facilitators and the global director of the organization Mr. Olasupo Abideen whom also doubles as the founder of the Factcheck Elections Initiative as well. She emphasized the importance of protecting Nigeria’s democracy, particularly in light of the spread of fake news and misinformation, which poses a threat to the electoral process.
The Fact Check Elections initiative was established to prevent the spread of false information and ensure that citizens have access to accurate information when making decisions at the polls. The workshop is intended to train attendees on effectively fact-checking elections and equip them with the necessary skills for the task ahead.
The training featured a line-up of expert facilitators who shared their insights on various aspects of fact-checking and the fight against fake news. Mr. Lekan Otufodurin of the “Media Career Development Network of Nigeria” discussed “debunking fake news using open source investigating tools (OSINT), desktop research, and the use of bots and automated accounts to amplify fake news and manipulate public opinion.”
The media aficionado share so many experiences with members of the growing team of fact checkers and also took time to attend to critical questions by the inquisitive fact checkers during the training.
Lanre Olagunju of “Cable News Nigeria” discussed “how electioneering campaigns and debates fuel misinformation and the way forward.” His session was so interactive with lots of engagements with the training participants. He went on to educate the young factcheckers on the dangers of fake news and the importance of factchecking in the Nigerian society.
Mrs. Zainab Sanni, a multimedia journalist and fact checker at “News Verifier,” spoke on “the roles of traditional media in Nigeria, including prints, radio, and television, in combating fake news and misinformation.”
She emphasized the need for an effective collaboration between fact checking organizations and traditional media platforms for effective circulation of fact check reports.
David Ajikobi of “Africa Check” shared “Tips for fact-checking in real time using social media and other online tools,” as well as “the roles of international actors in spreading fake news and misinformation during elections.
Also, Lanre Olanrewaju of Datatphyte joined the workshop virtually and he discussed “Data and the use of infographics for fact checking.”. He went on to show the participants some infographics tools and how to use them during the course of the training.
Mr David, who took time to engage the participants heavily on the step-by-step process to fact checking and adoption of various OSINT tools for desktop research during election period for fact verification. He also highlighted and explained the various fake news typologies.
The event also witnessed the Launch of the organization’s research paper on Information Disorder titled “Information Disorder: A Malady on Elections in Nigeria”. The research which was put together by the creative team of developers on the team is a detailed report on the global perspective of fake news and the Nigerian experience to an extent.
Link to the research: INFORMATION DISORDER _ A MALADY ON ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA
The training was well-attended by a diverse group of participants, including journalists, media professionals, and members of the public, who were eager to learn more about the fight against fake news and misinformation. The training provided a platform for participants to share their experiences and challenges and to network with other participants.
Overall, the training was a success and provided participants with valuable insights and tools to effectively fact-check and combat fake news and misinformation. The organisers of the training have also said that they will continue to provide similar training to help fight the spread of misinformation.
The training was funded by Karibu foundation.