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AFRICMIL: Mass literacy can tackle hate speech, fake news

AFRICMIL: Mass literacy can tackle hate speech, fake news
September 07
23:39 2017

The African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) says mass literacy will tackle the problem of hate speech as well as fake news in Nigeria.

The center said this to mark the international literacy day.

In a statement issued by Chido Onumah, AFRICMIL coordinator, the center said such measure would help promote peaceful co-existence among the different groups in Nigeria thereby strengthening the nation’s unity.

He said the federal and state governments could exploit the potentials of the digital age by creating the awareness necessary to stem the tide of hate speech and fake news in the country.

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Onumah said freedom of speech should not translate to “freedom to create hate and hurt.

He said AFRICMIL regretted that the digital age has helped to nurture hate speech and fake news, “thus causing so much rage and fanning embers of war”.

Onumah advised that rather than making “stringent laws that might interfere with democratic practices”, government should initiate measures to encourage mass literacy so as to “counter the negative side of the digital age”.

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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has set aside September 8 as the international literacy day to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies.

The theme of this year’s celebration is ‘Literacy in a digital world’.

Countries with the lowest literacy rates in the world include Burkina Faso (12.8%), Niger (14.4%) and Mali (19%) – all in Africa.

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