Disinformation is a strategic effort to undermine trust in the electoral system – SOE

Disinformation is a strategic effort to undermine trust in the electoral system – SOE

By Mansi Chand
Wednesday 12/06/2024
Supervisor of Elections, Ana Mataiciwa

Disinformation is more than just false information it is a strategic effort to undermine trust in the electoral system and create division within the community.

Supervisor of Elections, Ana Mataiciwa has highlighted this while opening the Countering Threats of Disinformation and Other Harmful Speech for Election in Fiji Workshop at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva this morning.

Mataiciwa says social media has allowed us to be expressive, allowing individuals to react to numerous issues and this has also allowed social media to become a breeding ground for disinformation and hate speech where false narratives can spread like wildfire, undermining trust and ultimately threatening the fairness of our elections.

Mataiciwa says Fiji and in many other countries, the rise of social media has transformed how we communicate and engage with each other while hate speech is further fueled by disinformation that can incite division and violence within people.

The Supervisor of Elections says they have witnessed how disinformation campaigns can affect public perception, manipulate voter behaviour and create an atmosphere of distrust.

She says it seeks to cloud judgment, division and erode democracy, however, they can not and will not allow this malicious act to succeed.

She says collaboration is essential for such issue since no single person or entity can tackle this issue alone. Mataiciwa adds they are excited to work with the International Foundation for Electoral System, media and civil society to develop strong strategies to counter disinformation.

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