Cameroon Tribune | The Minister of Communication in a press conference on July 13 cautioned against systematic misinformation on traditional and social media. What is being done by ANTIC to limit the propagation of false information on the social media given that your role is to protect the cyber space of the country?
To begin with, I would like to state that the fake news phenomenon thrives on two components: communication – the primary element, which has to do with the intended message, and technology which is the channel through which the message is routed.
With regard to the technological component, ANTIC in its capacity as the government agency mandated to combat cybercrime in Cameroon has undertaken a series of activities in this regard notably; raising public awareness on fake news preventive best practices and the risks inherent in the propagation of fake-news.
This awareness campaign is carried out on several communication channels including – biweekly radio programmes, social media posts, the conception, development and distribution of Internet Security Guides and the organisation of seminars, workshops and public forums; The training of communication units of government ministries on digital communication skills in a bid to strengthen their secure online presence.
ANTIC organized two (02) of such training workshops in 2018 and 2019 in partnership with relevant international organisations; providing support to public and private institutions in verifying their official accounts and pages. As of today, thirty one (31) Government Ministries and Ministers have had their Facebook pages and accounts verified; the detection and reporting of fake news and pages/accounts usurping the identities of high-ranking state officials.
ANTIC has so far detected and reported 3211 fake accounts to social media platforms, of these, 2219 have been closed; The putting in place of a toll-free number 8202 that allows individuals as well as public and private institutions to contact ANTIC around the clock to report cases of cybercrime. For the fight against this vice to be effective, stakeholder groups need to come on board particularly traditional media organs, journalists and the public at large.