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Elham AbolFateh

World

Nigerian elections 2019: The spread of false information

Thursday 14/February/2019 - 05:54 PM
Sada El Balad
BBC

The campaign to elect Nigeria's next president is drawing to a close with accusations flying over the abuse of social media to spread misleading information، according to BBC.

Both of the main political parties have told BBC Reality Check their rivals are involved in the spread of disinformation.

The incumbent president، Muhammadu Buhari، of the All Progressives Congress (APC)، and his main rival، Atiku Abubakar، running for the People's Democratic Party (PDP)، have both been the target of videos containing dubious or inaccurate information، being shared online.

"There has been some efforts by the PDP campaign to push disinformation،" says Tolu Ogunlesi، head of digital communications for President Buhari.

Both parties deny any knowledge of people inside the party spreading disinformation.

"The APC is predicated on propaganda - they have manipulated pictures and words،" says Paul Ibe، a media adviser to Mr Abubakar.

The APC denies the accusations and attacks the PDP for spreading lies.

"Political parties support and encourage the dissemination of divisive 'fake news' on their behalf but have little control over its development and spread،" according to Jonathan Fisher، who is overseeing a project looking at the role of WhatsApp in Nigeria's elections.

Written posts، photos and videos have been shared on social media platforms، publicly on Facebook and in private WhatsApp groups، spreading unsubstantiated rumours about the candidates.

One of the most prominent is that a double is standing in for President Buhari at public events، which he has repeatedly and firmly denied.

Edited by: Mohamed Emad

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