Ghana: ISD Launches Portal to Check Misinformation

The Information Services Department (ISD) of the Minis­try of Information (MoI), has launched a new portal to com­bat misinformation.

Dubbed, the new website apart from combat­ing misinformation and disinforma­tion will also serve as a reposito­ry of government information that could be accessed by the general public.

It will also serve as an avenue to disseminate and promote gov­ernment programmes, policies and projects.

Launching the portal, the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, said the introduction of the website by the media department of the ISD, formed an integral part of the re-organisation and retooling of government programmes.

He said the reforms aimed at equipping the department to serve more audiences with its work even as the times and media consump­tion patterns change.

"As you may be aware, a signif­icant section of our population now relies on online platforms and other social media platforms for information," Mr Oppong-Nkru­mah explained.

The minister noted that some unscrupulous persons had used many of these portals and social media platforms to propagate falsehood and misinformation.

He said this phenomenon was gradually undermining democracy, stressing that "the rollout of this website will, therefore, aid the department in the fight against misinformation by providing direct information from Minis­tries, Departments and Agencies about the works of Government and becoming a repository of all happenings in government."

Mr Oppong-Nkrumah said the website would provide facts about government projects and pro­grammes, full texts of all speeches by heads of MDAs, official com­munications and publications, and documents on policies and pro­grammes, to reduce the level of misrepresentations and sometimes outright misinformation online.

He expressed his gratitude to the leadership of the media divi­sion for developing the portal.

"As I have charged you earlier, platforms like this are only as use­ful as how regularly and accurately you update them. So work quickly and accurately to ensure that the Ghanaian citizen is reached with all the facts and the necessary doc­umentation as soon as possible. Do not wait until tomorrow. Do it now," Mr Oppong-Nkrumah said.

He admonished public relations officers (PROs) across the Minis­tries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure that govern­ment information were delivered accurately and timely, adding that "It is your job to ensure that the information and the documents reach ISD media today, so that they could be published.

"The regular delays in getting materials to your colleagues at ISD media will only undermine the potential efficacy of this very useful tool. So, get to work with speed and call for help if you need help with the bureaucracy in your ministries," the minister said.

The acting Chief Information Officer, Mr David Owusu-Amoah, said even though the ISD could not control news put out in the public, it could manage it.

He said one of the critical aspect of the ISD's transformation was to move with speed to deal with misinformation and disinfor­mation

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