Commercial motorbike riders in Yaoundé, Cameroon’s political capital have pledged to steer clear spread of hate speech and misinformation on social media.
The bikers made the promise at the end of a specialized meet-up session that held at the Etoug Ebe neighbourhood.
The session was orgnaised by a cohort 3 member of the Africa Fact-checking Fellowship, AFFCameroon under defyhatenow – a hate speech mitigation organization.
It held Wednesday December 16, 2020 with focus on schooling the bikers on the dangers of spreading misinformation and hate speech which threatens national cohesion and togetherness.
Speaking shortly after facilitating the session, AFFCameroon Fellow cum organizer, Doh Bertrand Nua, told reporters that the training primarily aimed at bringing bikers to light on the dangers of misinformation, disinformation and malinformation as well as exchange ideas with them on how the rising rate of hate language in the society could be curbed.
“We decided to choose biker riders because they are a group of the people who easily interact with people from all classes in the society in the course of their daily activities. Recent developments in the country has proven that bike riders are increasingly been used or manipulated to spread across messages of hate, division, violence, among others. They are the most targeted group in every planned protest or strike action in the country. It is with this that we thought it wise to sensitize them to steer clear certain hate speech related conversations while going about their daily activities as well as the spread of misinformation with the use of social media,” Doh told News Upfront.
For over an hour, the bikers were aside being schooled on the dangers of spreading fake news and misinformation also thought techniques of identifying and verifying social media rumours/fake news, social media code of conduct, ways to stop disinformation and malinformation, how to counter hate language, encourage peace within their communities among others.
Speaking on behalf of his peers, Ngek James, president of the bike riders hail the initiative and lauded organisers for selecting them.
He and his colleagues promised to extend the knowledge acquired to others within their union and community as well as pleaded for more trainings on how to counter hate.