FactCheckAfrica Takes Fact-Checking and Digital Rights Youth Conference to KASU 

By Oluwaseye Ogunsanya 

FactCheckAfrica, the media arm of Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative (BBYDI) on Tuesday continued its tour of selected campuses across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria by hosting the Digital Rights Youth Conference at the Kaduna State University (KASU).

The event which was funded by the United States Department of States and supported by Becera well attended by the students populace of the university and it was aimed at creating an awareness among KASUites on the need to tackle information disorder.

In his welcome remark, the Deputy Dean Students Affairs Dr MK Dauda who also declared the event open appreciated the BBYDI team on behalf of the school management for organising the event adding that it is in line with the University’s guidelines.

While asking the students to pay rapt attention, Dauda also said it will create an opportunity for them to learn so many things.

In her address the Executive Director of the organisation, Barr. Nurah Jimoh said the event is aimed to address the unprecedented challenges posed by the proliferation of fake news, misinformation, and disinformation in today’s digital landscape and there is a sense of urgency and determination to confront the grave dangers posed by information pollution.

“We are witnessing a global crisis of trust, where truth is increasingly obscured by a web of falsehoods, propaganda, and sensationalism. In such a climate, the line between fact and fiction becomes blurred, eroding public confidence in institutions and undermining the fabric of civil discourse. The consequences of information pollution are far-reaching and multifaceted. It breeds confusion, sows division, and fuels social unrest. It undermines the credibility of legitimate news sources, corrodes public trust in democratic institutions, and threatens the very notion of shared reality upon which our society is built.

Therefore, I stand before you today with a deep understanding of the crucial role fact-checking plays in the pursuit of truth and the preservation of our democratic values. We, as an entity, recognize that the ability to discern fact from fiction is not just a skill; it is a civic duty. It is on this note that we organize this conference across geopolitical zones in Nigeria, with the one we converge here for today as the flagship. This conference is not merely an assembly of minds; it is a declaration of our commitment to the principles of accuracy, integrity, and responsible information dissemination. Together, we embark on a journey to empower tomorrow’s media leaders, arming them with the tools needed to navigate the complexities of the digital landscape.”

Jimoh urged the participants to embrace the duty to seek and uphold the truth, as it is both a shield and a sword against the forces of misinformation adding that their collective dedication to truth should serve as a compass that will guide towards a future where facts triumph over fiction, and where the digital rights of every individual are safeguarded.

Similarly, the Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, Prof. Ayodele Joseph lectured the audience on the essential building blocks for fact-checking while delivering his Keynote address.

His address also highlighted types of fake news, tips and tools used for combating fake news effectively, as well as the need to priortize fact-checking and verify the accuracy of information before accepting it.

“Fact-checking plays a pivotal role in correcting public perception and fostering knowledge on public issues. It serves as a safety net, ensuring that the information disseminated is accurate and reliable. Fact-checking is a responsibility that extends to both the providers and consumers of information. It is essential to verify the information we share and remain vigilant in assessing the credibility of the information we receive.” He said.

Other highlights of the event includes question and answer sessions with the students, freebies for the first 30 students to get to the venue as well as the unveiling of FactCheckAfrica’s MyAIFactcheck App demo.

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