Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, the Dean of the School of Information and Communication Studies, University of Ghana, has urged stakeholders in the information and communication sector to find a means of stopping the circulation of fake news to ensure a safer society.
Prof Gadzekpo cited the gruesome lynching that happened across India last year, following the publication of false news on WhatsApp and said, those were the kinds of consequences society could face, if a solution for stopping the circulation of fake news was not found.
“There is, therefore, the need to create awareness on how to determine between real news and fake news,” she stated, at an inter-University quiz, dubbed: “Spot the Fake”, which was held last night in Accra.
Seven universities that offer courses in Information and Communication Studies contested with the National Film and Television Institute emerging the winner.
The Department of Information Studies of the University of Ghana and the Accra University College of Communications followed, respectively.
The quiz forms part of a larger agenda and commitment by the School of Information and Communication Studies, to create awareness and contribute its expertise, towards improving media and information literacy in Ghana.
Prof Gadzekpo said with the advent of social media methods of news fabrication had also evolved, leading to false information often being peddled as authentic news.
Social media platforms, she noted, was becoming the first point of call of most people seeking information, but these were the media platforms for circulating false stories.
Nana Aba Anamoah, News Editor, GhOne Television, who was the Guest of Honour, said it was important to always verify news that came from unknown sources, especially if they had very attractive headlines.
“If information is coming from a source you have never heard off, be careful,” she cautioned.
She said it was worth noting that currently, many were driven by the need to be the first to put out information, especially if it was sensational, and thus lacked the high ethical sense to verify the authenticity of what they put out.
Ms Anamoah said considering the fact that any one at all could upload any bit of information unto a social media platform and have it circulated, people, especially the youth, should be circumspect with stories they read from such sources.