Rise Networks, a Data science and artificial intelligence companyon Friday in Abuja, launched the “Run-Am” mobile app to check fake news and combat the spread of misinformation during the election period.
Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji, founder of Rise Networks, said the platform, which can be accessed on the Google Play Store, is a tool capable of ensuring information efficiency and accountability during the 2023 election and beyond.
He said that the project had the support of the MacArthur Foundation and the Center for Information, Technology and Development (CITAD).
According to her, the app has news check feature, image check feature, and voter education feature to check for misinformation that can cause violence during elections.
“During elections, fake news is used to create a lot of voter apathy, so you see a lot of news like 50 people have been killed in a particular local government.
“And that is why the people who have their PVCs are not going to want to go out and vote because they are afraid.
“But when you find out, you will see that this information is not true, but when the voters do not show up, then it will be easy for them to rig the elections.
“And those are the kinds of problems that the Run-Am app is meant to solve,” he said.
He added that the organization was working to ensure the app runs in our local languages and pidgin English, so that it can be easily accessed by all Nigerians.
Victor Aluko, Director of Education and Publicity for Voters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) thanked the company for its efforts to combat false news that can undermine electoral processes in the country.
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“We are going to serious elections that will be contested by powerful people and political parties and you will see a situation in which the electoral process will be affected in several directions.
“When we get that, you’ll see a huge mix of fake news, misinformation and disinformation, and we’re looking at how we can manage our results to make sure people aren’t misinforming Nigerians.
“So when we have this kind of (Run-Am) application, from reputable organizations like this, we tend to identify with them and express our happiness that it comes from a Nigerian organization,” he said.
For his part, Dayo Olaide, Deputy Country Director of the Africa Office of the MacArthur Foundation, added that democracy continued to face global threats around the world.
He added that to save the country’s democracy, Nigerians must start paying more attention to electoral accountability and denounce those who make inflammatory statements and spread false news.
“As we launch the (Run-Am) app today, we will need our citizens to move beyond exposing that misinformation and start demanding that those who are driving this type of attack on our democracy be brought to justice.
“This responsibility is not only of the INEC, it is a shared responsibility, the government, the citizenry and also the media must hold all the actors accountable for their actions,” he added.
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