Describing fake news as a tool used by the naysayers to attack the government and state officials, the Country’s Information and Culture Minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Friday in Sal Island, Cape Verde said they have uncovered that the purveyors of fake news have graduated from pushing out regular fake news to what is called deep fake news.
The Minister said these elements of fake news is laced with some scanty elements of the story that seems to have some Information that would suggest there is an event, even though the story is deep fake news regardless.
“For example, these people can pick a video or picture of a happening in another country, doctor such footages and pictures to present them as what is happening.
In some cases, they are not even bothered or afraid of putting a fake quote and attribute same to a public official, all in a bid to embarrass government officials in particular and the administration in general.”
The Minister said when the fake news battle started a few years ago,it was largely by some obscure online media outfits but he decried a situation where by, even some so called reputable media organisations have joined the fray,now even a good number of the main stream outfits have also joined.
“For example, when the Retired Commodore granted the controversial channel interview,the news with the deep fake news element went to town to report that that the man was arrested,the channels anchors arrested and the station banned which are all false.”
The Minister said such media outfits do not have credibility at all and would want to destroy anyone they feel threatened by.
“A case in point was my recent trip to the USA for my regular activity,it was reported that we sneaked out of the country even with that,that Twitter shunned the team. Also the recent trip of the President’s Chief of staff to the U.S.A are all classical example of deep fake news.”
Another example the Minister gave was the recent report suggesting that the immediate past Statistician General of Nigeria said he was forced when in office to doctor statistics that suggested that the economy was robust.
According to the Minister all these are attempts to discredit the achievements recorded by the government .
“These people want to tarnish the image of government and the efforts put in place.
But where they are missing it is that anytime they go to town with such deep fake news,it strengthens our resolve to sanitise the social media space in Nigeria.
The Nigerian government through the Ministry of Information and Culture raised an awareness about the dangers of fake news in the society and followed that up with a campaign and advocacy program against fake news which has even transcended to deep fake news.