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Nigeria: Google trains 3,500 journalists on misinformation

Over the past three years, Google has provided training to more than 3,500 journalists on the use of various tools for news verification, including digital resources to combat misinformation.

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, emphasized that the government is committed to upholding freedom of expression.

During a visit to the minister, Olumide Balogun, the leader of the delegation from Google West Africa, mentioned, “We have the Google News integration team that helps news organizations across the world, including Nigeria through what is called “Google Innovation Challenge” to innovate and introduce new innovations to news organizations, one of the innovations that we funded, called ‘full fact’ is an AI technology that helps in fact-checking”.

The Google team pledged their commitment to supporting the Ministry by providing online skills training to the staff. In response, the minister reassured that the government has no intention of suppressing freedom of expression.

He emphasized that the government’s goal is to encourage constructive communication, underscoring the vital role of information in a nation’s well-being. The minister recognized the importance of providing a platform for people to express themselves freely, but also stressed that freedom comes with significant responsibility and should not lead to the spread of disorder in the country.

The minister applauded the collaborative effort to establish effective regulations for online platforms, ensuring they serve their intended purpose without being misused. Idris revealed that the federal government remains committed to promoting freedom of expression and maintaining an environment where everyone can freely express themselves and access information.

The minister added: “We will partner with Google in promoting the free flow of information because democracy cannot survive without freedom of expression”.

He praised Google for their commendable efforts and expressed the Ministry’s commitment to ongoing collaboration with Google and other similar entities to combat the issue of fake news and misinformation effectively.

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