FactCheckAfrica Sensitizes over 700 Students on Fact-checking, Digital Rights In FCE(T) Gombe

By Dauda Musbau and Habeeb Adisa 

The FactCheckAfrica team of the Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative (BBYDI) has on Friday held the second edition of its fact-checking and digital rights training at the Federal College of Education (Technical), Gombe.

The training themed, ‘Empowering Tomorrow’s Media Leader’ had in attendance Mallam Ali Auta, the Dean of the Students’ Affairs FCE(T) Gombe; Mr Admau Inuwa Pantami, Gombe State Commissioner for Sports and Youths Development; Dr Ali Usman Abdullah, Director of MIS/Chairman ICT Committee FCE(T) Gombe.

In his opening remark, Mallam Ali Auta, the Dean of Students’ Affairs lauded the timeliness of the conference and highlighted the ways it is going to help youth to differentiate between true and false information. 

“Fake news can lead to crises but this conference will provide the right knowledge to differentiate between true and false information,” Mallam Ali said.

While giving his welcome address, Habeeb Adewale Tajudeen, a Senior Programme Officer at BBYDI said that the conference is the second of its type, first in Kwara State University-KWASU, North Central while Gombe is representing the Northeast.

“The goal of this nationwide conference is to empower future media leaders with the tools to navigate the media landscape,” Habeeb noted.

Dr Ali Usman Abdullahi, the Keynote Speaker and Director of MIS/Chairman ICT Committee at FCE (T) Gombe delved into the theme, exploring the roles of ICT platforms and governments in controlling information pollution. 

He advocated for collaboration and outlined strategies such as algorithmic transparency, content moderation, regulatory frameworks, and media literacy.

The panel session, moderated by Hadija Usman, had Dr Zainab Faruq Yunusa and Mallam Usman Ahmad discuss ‘Much of Digital Rights, Less of Moral Sensibility to End Information Pollution’. 

They both emphasized the importance of ethics in handling information, cautioning against emotional reactions and highlighting the responsibility to verify information before sharing it.

The panel concluded that while everyone has the right to access information, it is crucial to ensure that the right information is shared through the appropriate channels.

A question and answer segment was anchored by Habeeb Adewale and the Head of Programs of FactCheckAfrica, Habeeb Adisa, which allowed attendees/participants to ask questions surrounding the issues of fact-checking and Digital rights. 

The event also witnessed the unveiling of our civic-tech tool, MyAIFactChecker, providing attendees with an enlightening experience of fact-checking news conveniently on their smartphones in their preferred language. This unveiling marked a significant step towards curbing the spread of fake news.

A Goodwill message by Adamu Inuwa Pantami, Gombe State Commissioner for Sports and Youths Development, he emphasized the global impacts of ICT and the importance of responsible information sharing.