The Electoral Commission had to counter fake news in 2018 as various political leaders tried to discredit the results

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Election Commission had to counter fake news in 2018 as various political leaders tried to discredit the results – Maharaj

Alvick Maharaj, Chairman of the Justice, Law and Human Rights Parliamentary Committee and Deputy Minister of Employment [Image: Parliament of Fiji]

The Electoral Commission had to expend considerable effort and resources to counter fake news with accurate and credible information, as it had to deal with various political leaders who produced articles aimed at undermining the credibility of the elections and futile attempts been made to discredit the results. in 2018.

This was underscored by the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights and Deputy Minister for Employment, Alvick Maharaj, during the tabling of the Electoral Commission’s 2018 annual report in Parliament.

Maharaj says the Committee was also told that one of the main challenges facing the Commission was the spread of false information about the election on social media and various other platforms.

He says, however, that the prompt action of the election supervisor made it possible to quickly identify and clarify the misinformation.

The Chairperson stated that the Committee commended the Commission for the huge achievement of 2018, but felt it was prudent to recommend to the Commission, through the Fiji Electoral Office, to continue its advocacy program on elections, in line with the Office’s 2020/23 strategic plan. where one of the goals is to enhance voter turnout through an effective outreach and engagement program.

He added that the Electoral Commission is commended for its ability to address the challenges faced during the 2018 general elections, including the spread of fake election news via social media.

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