Nigeria accuses US social media giants of promoting fake news
Nigeria says US social media firms Google and Meta are helping to spread fake news on their platforms ahead of a presidential election this month, Information Minister Lai Mohammed said on Friday.
Nigerians go to the polls on Feb. 25 to elect a new president, with three frontrunners promising to deal with the rising cost of living.
Mohammed said he met with Meta and Google representatives in Abuja on Friday and requested that they make posts from official channels visible on their platforms, and flag as unverified election results originating from unofficial sources.
He also asked the two companies to work with the security services to take down posts capable of inciting violence.
Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, has been exploring ways to regulate social media usage. The country is home to millions of internet users and platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Tiktok are popular.
Mohammed's request comes after he asked Google last year to block the use of YouTube channels and livestreams by secessionist and militant groups in the country.
"These actions, if executed, will go a long way in checking the proliferation of fake news and disinformation on social media ahead of, during and after the elections," Mohammed said.
Recent research has revealed a long-running US disinformation campaigns aimed at nations adversarial to the US on social media platforms, as well as the use of dozens of fake accounts to propagate pro-Western narratives.