IEC partners with social media giants to curb election disinformation

IEC partners with social media giants to curb election disinformation

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has partnered with Google, Meta, TikTok and the non-profit organisation Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) to curb disinformation in the run-up to the 2024 general elections.

Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)  4 November

The parties signed a cooperation agreement to combat disinformation and other digital harms.

The IEC says the agreement will enable it to work with MMA on initiatives including (complaints platform) and (transparent repository of political advertisements) to combat disinformation.

IEC chairperson Mosotho Moepya says disinformation poses a threat to various rights, including freedom of expression, access to credible information, and the freedom to make informed political choices.

“The dissemination of disinformation has huge potential to undermine the fairness and credibility of elections. Credible information is the lifeblood of all democracies.

"Trustworthy information is crucial in the process that enables citizens to choose their leaders,” says Moepya.

MMA's William Bird says the Real411 platform will form part of the work of the IEC's Directorate of Electoral Offences, which was first established ahead of the 2016 municipal elections to investigate breaches of the code of conduct.

"The commission’s directorate, comprised of independent attorneys, operates throughout the term of the election timetable. It investigates complaints and provides recommendations for possible further action.

"Real411 complaints about disinformation will be considered by a panel of relevant experts including those with expertise in media law, and social and digital media. They will make recommendations for possible further action for the consideration of the commission," explains Bird.


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