Inaccurate information on social media has become a problem in many countries around the world. Researchers know a fair deal about “fake news” in the global North, but much less about what is happening in the global South, particularly in Africa.
In African countries there is a fast-growing population of internet and mobile media users. They have the means to share information quickly and easily. But they can also spread disinformation and misinformation. According to the UNESCO Handbook for Journalism Education and Training, misinformation is information that is false, but believed to be true by the person sharing it. Disinformation is known to be false by the person sharing it.
Without more research in an African context, it is difficult for scholars and policy makers to come up with solutions to the specific problems of false information experienced on the continent.