4.1 billion of humanity globally likely to face disinformation in election in 2024

More than half of humanity globally, would be called to the polls to exercise their franchise in Presidential, Parliamentary, regional, or municipal elections in 2024.

It is expected that some 4.1 billion voters could face disinformation in the run up to these elections.

According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), an international not-for-profit entity responsible for safeguarding the right to freedom of information, eight of the world’s ten most populous countries would have elections this year.

Its release signed by Christophe Deloire, Secretary General and shared with the Ghana News Agency says the countries include the United States, which will organise one of the most important votes for the future of democracy with Ghana as another.

Others are, Mauritania, Uruguay, Mozambique, Rwanda, Indonesia, Chad, Namibia, and Algeria, among others It said elections were moments of great vulnerability for democracies “As we have seen already, a single piece of fake news can completely undermine the integrity of the vote.”

It gave an example as in Slovakia, a few weeks ago, a fake recording of a politician, produced with artificial intelligence, caused confusion.

The danger of this happening is much greater now due to the spread of easy-to-use software capable of producing content in which it is almost impossible to distinguish authentic from artificial to aid disinformation and misinformation. It said the democratic mechanisms for combating this new type of fake news were not ready, but the elections will go ahead. 

“This is why access to reliable, unimpeded and independent news reporting is all the more decisive during election periods,” indicating unfortunately, this access is declining in some countries where journalism has been undermined.

Seeing this, Reporters Without Borders has decided to make election coverage and the integrity of elections one of its priority areas of work in 2024, and “we have already launched some diverse initiatives. “

“We are organising training for journalists, we have designed a manual on security during elections to be available in several languages, we are distributing protective equipment, and we are making it possible for journalists to have continued online access if the Internet is cut for political reasons.

We are also using the elections for advocacy targeting candidates, urging them to incorporate our specific proposals for promoting the right to reliable reporting into their programmes,” it concluded.

Source: GNA

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