We are excited to launch this campaign alongside a report titled “Truth Tellers” which comes as a result of our mis/disinformation West Africa cross-disciplinary convening held in September 2021. The report details diverse perspectives of expert voices from leading human rights organizations, the media, technology platforms and academia on the challenges and threats posed by mis/disinformation and the interventions.
This campaign provides the framework for WITNESS efforts to combat mis/disinformation, a widespread phenomenon that increasingly challenges trust in information, and enables the weaponization of online spaces. More importantly, mis/disinformation directly challenges the impact of video evidence thereby making it even more difficult to deliver justice and ensure accountability. Further, the widespread proliferation of mis/information puts human rights defenders, activists and marginalised communities at risk of violence and further exclusion. This campaign seeks to build resilience in communities most at risk of mis/information by supporting them with the right skills and tools to identify the threats and prioritise solutions that are contextually relevant to the African continent.
Mis/disinformation threatens truth and reality. It is one of the biggest barriers to an informed audience. It gives oppressors a viable defence to evade justice. Also, in many countries across the continent it forms the justification for the enactment of repressive laws that restrict the right to freedom of expression. Given the low digital literacy rate across the continent and the overwhelming influence of government in the flow of information, marginalised communities are at greater risk of the negative impact of mis/disinformation. Therefore, this campaign aims to increase the media literacy rate of communities across Africa through training and compelling media content that would provide cues and guidelines on how to identify mis/disinformation and challenge it.
We will be updating this page over a spread of the next six (6) months with material on digital literacy skills that would help you make simple decisions that increase discernment between authentic and false information.