KRG launches fake news busting platform
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Monday launched the Sako (platform) medium to debunk mis/disinformation and fake news related to government affairs, the chief of media announced.
The WhatsApp Community was initiated in the presence of several journalists and ministries' spokespersons in Erbil by the head of the KRG Department of Media and Information Jotiar Adil.
For the sake of delivering facts-based government affairs to the public and debunking fake news and dis/misinformation, the platform has been created, Adil said.
Aimed to combat propaganda and increase public awareness of the alarming issue, the Community pledges to serve as a trustworthy site for journalists to get the most up-to-date information and debunked news pieces.
The spokespeople and media managers of several government ministries are also members of the platform.
The KRG is aware of the “attempts” to fabricate the truth and mislead the public, therefore, it has taken this measure to combat the issue, Adil said.
"We believe that together we can prevent false and inappropriate news to show the true and clear image of the Kurdistan Regional Government," he said on Twitter, which is currently rebranded as X.
Politicians and public figures regularly issue “clarification statements” in response to news and information they describe as “biased, baseless, and fake” in Iraq and its Kurdistan Region. During electoral campaigns, politicians tend to claim the phenomenon becomes exacerbated with political rivals sometimes deploying such tactics to smear their opponents.
Per a real-time dashboard from the Baghdad-based Tech4Peace non-governmental organization, Facebook is the top social media network in the country on which “fake news” is disseminated.
The NGO tracks popular pages and accounts on social media accounts to debunk rumors and counter the spread of misinformation.
Per Iraqi criminal law, anyone accused of spreading misinformation or “rumor” during wartime can face up to 10 years imprisonment.