Secretary of the Department of Information and Communication Technology Mr. Steven Matainaho, has highlighted that the Social Media Management Desk is a priority for government , in monitoring misinformation, and or fake news on facebook accounts and sites
The social media desk is an initiative of the Minister for Information and Communication Technology Honorable Timothy Masiu, and was given approval by Cabinet early this year.
Secretary Matainaho highlighted these, during the Ministerial Committee on ICT for COVID-19 with stakeholders in Port Moresby recently, adding, “we need to have an official registered desk, and that is what the Department of ICT has embarked on.”
“There are a number of functions in the Social Media Management Desk that we are operating, and we are asking for all public entities to give their official domain names and their social media accounts because Facebook required that for us to take down fake Government pages.
Meanwhile, an officer has been engaged to manage the Social Media Management Desk , and is currently registering fake Government pages and misinformation.
“We are now working on daily basis to ensure we take down pages that are spreading false or inaccurate information that are of concern to the Government.
“For instance, for the Prime Minister’s pages alone, we take down about five to ten pages per week , and we have found out that the same people are going about creating fake accounts again and circulating fake government news and information”, he added.
He said that this was just the tip of an iceberg because the Department has not touched on actual posts, which is misinformation in the space of cyber bullying and cyber harassment.
“We have direct contact with Facebook , and have recently reported incidents to them and they have responded favourably in taking down misinformation and fake pages.”
Mr Matainaho added that misinformation’s pertaining to the Covid-19 vaccines on facebook pages are being taken down.
“These are posts on pages that are against the vaccines.”
“ Our challenge now is the coordination of how we can be able to get factual information to the populous in one clear message.”
Secretary Matainaho stressed that the department will install a social media tool kit, to help track trends of misinformation, adding, a report will also be provided to the Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council on the progress of the social media management desk.
“There is a work in progress to widen the Social Media Management Desk to monitor fake Government Facebook pages and misinformation Both misinformation and fake pages will be taken down systematically,” he added.