Fake News: Will Cameroon Cut Internet During Elections?

Yaounde - There are growing fears that the Cameroon government would cut off the Internet, at least to the crisis-hit English speaking Northwest and Southwest, during the October 7 presidential poll.

Cameroon has witnessed at least two Internet cuts since January last year with government saying the blackouts aimed at preventing the spread of hate speech and fake news via the social media.

But activists say shutting the Internet was an infringement on the rights of citizens and that the government could adopt other measures to fight against online misinformation without undermining the rights of Internet users.
Cameroon Information Minister 

A team from the American online social media and social networking service company has been holding meetings and training with stakeholders in Cameroon during a two day symposium on digital rights and elections. 

The government of Cameroon has solicited the services of Facebook to help fight the spread of fake news and hate speech, especially during the upcoming presidential election.

The meeting that has brought together different stakeholders, was seeking collaboration in the fight against online misinformation during electoral periods without undermining the rights of Internet users.

Though the Post and Telecommunications ministry dismissed fears of an imminent Internet blockade as “sheer manipulation and fake news”, critics took the rebuttal with a pinch of salt.

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