A youth group, AfriYAN Ghana, is advocating for truth and accuracy in information posted on social media to counter the influx of false information on the platforms.
A survey conducted by DW Akademie indicates that three-quarters of 15 to 25 year-olds own a smartphone with over 70 percent going online with their mobile phones as well as using Facebook and WhatsApp on a weekly basis.
Again, the use of several social networks and messengers is widespread and frequent, with more data-intensive networks like Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram used by fairly large proportion of the survey respondents every week.
This explains that information spread among young people is very crucial, and so a lot of people virtually live their lives on the various media and make choices based on the information they receive on those platforms.
For that reason, the group believes that efforts must be made to inject truth and accuracy in any information shared on those platforms.
To highlight the existing threats, AfriYAN held a movie screening last week to discuss the effects of misinformation.
“It is important that young people from diverse backgrounds are abreast with the dangers and consequences of misinformation and disinformation and as well be reminded of the risks in spreading sensitive and most importantly private information from the pressing force of social media that is asking you to post what’s on your mind even at the time when there’s practically nothing you would want to share,” the organizers noted.
A leading member of AfriYAN, Francis Oko Armah, said “this program was organized to bring out the positive side of social media, especially because the use of smartphones and social media has now become part of our lives. How are we able to check that the information we put out there is accurate? As young people we need to use social media wisely, insist on truth, so that it can impart our lives and that of our peers positively.”
The organizers said educating young people to be mindful of their actions and be considerate in what they share on social media is of utmost importance.