WITNESS, an international nonprofit organization that helps people use video and technology to protect and defend human rights, is hosting a West African cross-disciplinary convening on mis/disinformation in Abuja on Tuesday and Wednesday.
According to a press statement made available to FIJ by Loui Mainga, Programmatic Communications Coordinator-Africa of WITNESS, the convening will explore and prioritize pragmatic solutions for the defence against misinformation and disinformation particularly, as it affects grassroots communities in Africa.
“The exponential spread of mis/disinformation presents a real threat to democracies, digital safety and human rights. Also, the advancement of technology developed to mislead makes it increasingly difficult to verify content,” read the statement.
“We have also seen the ease in which videos and audios, often crudely edited or even simply recycled and re-contextualised, can perpetuate and renew cycles of violence. Furthermore, the emergence of deepfakes and other forms of synthetic media enable more seamless, more accessible abilities to make someone appear to say or do something they never did, and manipulate audio and video.”
WITNESS is focused on proactive approaches to protecting marginalised voices and human rights as emerging technologies intersect with the pressures of misinformation, disinformation and rising digital authoritarianism.
The convening will bring together leading Journalists, human rights defenders, activists, fact checkers, CSOs and technology platforms to prioritise multiple solution approaches to the threat of mis/disinformation.
The convening will also inform the development of resources, guidance and training modules that would help build resilience in communities to mitigate the harmful threat of mis/disinformation.
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