In the midst of the circulation of fake news about the novel coronavirus pandemic, the National Youth Organiser of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Henry Nana Boakye, has asked the youth to avoid spreading false information about the disease.
He has instead asked them to use their energy in doing their part to ensure that the country “stands in unison and sobriety to fight the pandemic”.
Social media has been awash with fake news since the outbreak of the pandemic. Twitter has said it will remove tweets that run the risk of causing harm by spreading dangerous misinformation about Covid-19. The social network says it will be applying a new broader definition of harm to address content that “goes directly against guidance from authoritative sources of global and local public health information”.
Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has said WHO is concerned about the levels of rumours and misinformation that are hampering its response to the pandemic.
“But we’re not just fighting an epidemic; we’re fighting an infodemic. Fake news spreads faster and more easily than this virus, and is just as dangerous,” Dr. Tedros said at a Munich Security Conference.
Like many part of the world, social media has been inundated with false news that has heightened the level of fear and panic among Ghanaians.
Reduction of one’s self
Commenting on the false news menace, Nana B, as the NPP youth leader is affectionately called, asked the youth not to reduce themselves to agents for the sharing of false news. “In times like this, do not reduce yourself to forwarding or sharing agents where you share or forward any unwholesome information that come your way,” he said, urging them to rather support the government in fighting the pandemic.