The Gambia government’s spokesperson Ebraima G. Sankareh on Friday slammed fake news sellers, accusing them of going extramile to tarnish the reputation of the new regime as well as promote falsehood and lies on social media platforms.
Taking the gloves off, Mr. Sankareh said when the “false video of fighting at State House” was being circulated on WhatsApp, he was glued to his sick bed in North Carolina, United States.
As government spokesperson, he said it was practically impossible for him to issue a prompt response as the doctored video was being circulated via WhatsApp.
Since the advent of a new democratic dispensation, Gambians have been enjoying their new found freedom without a limit. Social media platforms continue to provide unimited space to people to exercise their freedom of expression. However, some fake news peddlers have routinely taken to Facebook and WhatsApp to spread messagme that are from reflecting the reality.
Sankareh said Facebook and WhatsApp are part of the media. “So you cannot expunge them from social media,” he emphasized.
He then added: “For me , democracy is the best system, but also it is a messy system.”
Ebrima G. Sankareh, who is the brain behind GambiaEcho, one of the leading online news sites known for its stance for promoting democracy and freedom, descried the disturbing trend on social media platforms where some people can be deliberately indulged in spreading rumours and lies.
He said it is not even civilised for people to spread lies, bigotry, and hatred through these communication tools.
He expressed his disappointment about the fact that there are some people, who fought for democracy to triumph over dictatorship, but are now engaged into a process of destroying all that they have worked and sacrificed for.
“It is not pleasant to say, but I am going to say it,” he voiced out. “I am sometime embarrassed to my bone when I see our own people lying on a daily basis against President Barrow and his government.”
Mr. Sankareh stated that the government has inherited a broken system. “Fixing the environment is not an easy task.”