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Facebook urged to help Cameroon prevent fake news ahead of 2018 election

Internet "refugees" in francophone cities ©All rights reserved

The government of Cameroon is calling on Facebook and other international observers to help prevent “fake news” in the run-up to the country’s 2018 general election.

Going by online reports, Cameroon government officials recently met with two Facebook officials in Yaounde following repeated allegations that separatists are using the social media tool to spread hate and misinformation which smears the country’s image and republican values.

For one thing, the government has been making several attempts to check hate news and anti–unity propaganda online. The stringent being shutting down internet in English speaking Cameroon for three months.

This, in an attempt to douse protests against the predominantly French-speaking government of President Paul Biya. Despite pressures from rights groups and international organisations against the ban, government had remained unperturbed.

Government’s shutdown of internet in English speaking Cameroon had made life extremely difficult for millions of people in the country.Citizens in dire need of internet connectivity were forced beyond endurance to hunt for the high-tech communication technology in neighbouring cities making them to be tagged as internet refugees.  The Internet blackout did not only slow down businesses but shut them out with associated heavy financial losses

With the country’s Presidential polls scheduled for October 7, many are still using Facebook and other social media devices to spread information of another imminent internet cut. The government has however debunked such claims stating that President Biya is determine to realise the country’s digital emergence.

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