Tuesday 18 May 2021
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newtimes - 1 month ago

Not everything on the internet is of scribes to citizens

Media practitioners in Rwanda have urged the public to exercise caution while using social media, urging them to pick out valuable and truthful information and shun falsehoods and rumours that are spread by ill-motivated genocide deniers. The journalists were speaking during a panel discussion organised by the national broadcaster in commemoration of media practitioners killed during the Genocide against the Tutsi. During the discussions, the journalists recognized the fact that 27 years after the Genocide, a lot of things have changed in media, among which the proliferation of the internet, which has availed more channels for disseminating information. They noted that this is a good development that helps people access news and content in a timely and easy manner. However, the journalists cautioned that people with malicious intentions can use the internet to disseminate messages aimed at sowing divisionism, hatred, and spreading falsehoods regarding Rwanda and its history. Cleophas Barore, a senior journalist with Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA) urged the public that despite the fact that there is a lot of information out there on the internet, the good can be easily discerned from the bad, mainly basing on the motive behind the information. “Bad information can be clearly differentiated from that which is good. When people tell to hate or to segregate, this is clearly bad information that should not be given any room,” said Barore, who is also the chairperson of Rwanda Media Commission. “We should know that there is both good and bad stuff out there, and so, we should be smart enough to pick what is good and leave what is bad,” he added. Joseph Hakuzumuremyi, the head of Umuryango, a local news website recognized the fact that fake news has always been there in the world since long ago, and it is not going to stop today. Therefore, he said, the question is not about whether fake news is there or not, but what are good people doing to avail valuable and verified news to the public. “Fake news was there even in the days of Jesus. We need people who will make an effort to avail the truth to the public, so that those that are interested in facts will can access that information,” he said. “This is a battle journalists must fight. Those who denigrate and deny the genocide use internet, and those who support good and constructive ideas use the same tool. So, I think it is a battle that everyone of us who believes in what is good should engage into,” he added. Richard Kwizera, a journalist and multi-media personality pointed out some of the tendencies that genocide deniers use while on social media. These include hiding their identities, or impersonation. “Some people hide their identities and use pseudonyms. When we are out there on social media, we need to be careful what we share or like. We need to scrutinize the content and those that share it,” he said.


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