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Editorial | Sep 13, 2018

Fake News Debacle, Ghana’s Health

By Daily Guide
Fake News Debacle, Ghana’s Health

The fake news debacle in the country has grown exponentially and it is hurting the political health of the country.

For its proponents, though, these are good times to just throw up lies into the system and watch how these destroy the reputation of their targets. It is nothing but the peddling of falsehood using modern IT software to achieve this dastardly end of raising the political temperature of the country.

Even school children are beginning to understand that not all news churned out by the media is worthy of digestion; especially social media.

Although it is a worldwide phenomenon, we would have thought given the decency of our local cultures, the trend would have been somewhat restricted and scarcely applied.

The largest opposition party in the country, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has, however, found in it an effective means of throwing scum at their opponents and simultaneously raising the political temperature.

The worst of the objectives of the NDC is that which is directed at government policies such as the free SHS, the double track system in senior high schools and others.

Concocting and dissemination of fake news by the NDC as a party policy is no longer a funny affair. It is time that we took another look at the trend with a view to exposing it so that decent Ghanaians would begin to rubbish it so hard that the perpetrators would have a second thought of continuing on that tangent.

Turning to the courts where there is a verifiable case of libel should not be ignored at all. A few weeks ago, the CEO of the National Petroleum Authority, was targeted with a smear campaign which thankfully was full of integrity deficiencies that it failed to fly beyond the nose of the originators. In Ghana, all we do when there is a fake news attack is issue a denial about the lies.

We think a more robust and holistic means of dealing with the trend would help us put paid to the falsehood phenomenon.

Yesterday, in the heat of the Kofi Annan funeral, the bad guys hurled in something which they hoped would create the impression that there is bad blood between the President and the Number Two Gentleman.

The good thing, anyway, was that those who read the balderdash immediately made contacts to authenticate it because it did not make sense.

Not only did it sound thrash – the fakeness of the concocted correspondence was not in doubt.

The gusto with which the NDC is nurturing the fake news industry as a subset of politics adds to the predicament.

Many factors have accounted for the NDC resorting to this brand of propaganda. Not that it is a newfound channel but then it has received an impetus provided by the desperation which has visited them of late.

With the signs clearer that they would be confined to the woods of politics for many more years, the NDC leadership has thrown decency to the woods and doing anything to improve their chances including watering the fake news industry.

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