The Uganda Communications Commission launches a new portal, ‘Fast Checker’ through through the Uganda Computer Emergency Response Team (UG-CERT) to facilitate broadcasters and the public in verifying the authenticity of and reporting any fake messages, communications, posts received via the different social media platforms in a bid to curb fake news in Uganda.
Over the coming months, the UG-CERT team will fact-check suspicious information and push sources of false claims to correct the record.
Unscrupulous content creators have taken advantage of the digital information age to publish and distribute “disinformation” and so-called “fake news” – new forms of propaganda intentionally designed to mislead the reader.
“Disinformation is often not a mistake but rather deliberate creation and sharing of false or manipulated information with the intent to deceive and mislead audiences, either to cause harm or for political, personal or financial gain,” says Eng. Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo, the Acting Executive Director at Uganda Communications Commission.
Thereby, UCC through its UG-CERT is committed to fight against fake news in line with its mandate to set standards, monitor, and enforce compliance relating to content.
To verify the authenticity of any news stories or reports from unofficial sources, send a request to check information to 0791 847 828 (WhatsApp) or email: email@example.com which will later be published on https://ug-cert.ug/fake-news/ as truth or fake.
UCC in a statement said, anyone found disturbing fake information shall be apprehended and prosecuted for offending the Computer Misuse Act, 2011, the Data Protection and Privacy Act, 2019 and/or other Penal laws of Uganda.
The Computer Misuse Act is one of the three cyber laws that were enacted by Parliament in 2011 to protect the online community. The law is based on international best practices, such as, the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime. Therefore, it’s not unique to Uganda since similar laws are existent worldwide in other countries.