13 August 2018

Cameroon: Diplomacy in Action - Two Facebook Agents Visit Minrex

They held a strategic meeting with the Minister of External Relations, Friday August 10, 2018.

A visiting delegation from the American online social media and social networking service company, Facebook, has met with the Minister of External Relations, Lejeune Mbella Mbella. Aïda Ndiaye, Facebook Public Policy Lead for Francophone Africa and Lukas Holzer, Facebook Content Policy Head held an over two-hour closed-door meeting with the foreign affairs Minister.

No information filtered from the audience. But the Facebook officials are expected to grant a press conference at the end of their visit, Cameroon Tribune learned. Aïda Ndiaye and Lukas Holzer are in Cameroon since August 6, on invitation of the government, and are expected to end their mission on August 15. They are in the country to help fight against the phenomenon of fake news during the electoral period.

Since the arrival of the Facebook team, they have been holding meetings with various stakeholders. One of such meetings took place at the Ministry of Communication, grouping officials of the ministry, those of the Ministry of Territorial Administration, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Defence, National Communication Council, CRTV, Cameroon News and Publishing Corporation as well as security agents from the General Delegation of National Security and the Secretariat of State for Defence in charge of the National Gendarmerie.

The Facebook officials have also trained reporters, editors and student journalists on fact-checking and how to detect fake news. The training took place on the campus of the Advanced School of Mass Communication. The agents have also met with techies at Cameroon's tech hub - Silicon Mountain - in Buea.

The malicious spread of false information, especially on social media sites like Facebook has been taking a dangerous turn in the country. And government has been exploiting all avenues to curb the rising tide.

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