Disinformation on social media the topic at Percy Qoboza Memorial Lecture
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Pretoria - Dr Somadoda Fikeni warned of the increasing danger of disinformation being spread by social media.
Among the key issues raised were the intentional use of media to spread disinformation through the use of fake accounts to smear or impersonate political opponents, the difficulty of correcting misinformation when it spreads within trusted networks and global governance.
He was speaking at the annual Percy Qoboza Memorial Lecture at Unisa.
The annual lecture is held in remembrance of this country's most renowned editor in order to help strengthen the pillars of democracy, freedom of speech and freedom of media to ensure that Black Wednesday never happens again.
“While social media becomes increasingly deeply ingrained in daily life, mitigating adverse impacts will require sustained efforts by both policy-makers and technology leaders and there will need to be a careful balance struck between regulation and preventing infringements of individual liberties.
The National Press Club and Unisa organised the first Percy Qoboza Memorial Lecture in 2011.
It was delivered by Professor Kobus van Rooyen.
In 2012, Jay Naidoo delivered the lecture followed by Joe Thloloe in 2013.
The lecture was delivered by Mondli Makhanya in 2014, Moshoeshoe Monare in 2015 and Kevin Ritchie in 2016.
Last year, Qoboza’s son Vusi delivered the lecture.
Qoboza was born on January 17 1938.
He grew up in Sophiatown, which was a hybrid township of cinemas, shebeens, jazz dens, political meetings and “tsotsi” gangsters.
He initially went to Lesotho and studied in the field of theology, but became involved in journalism after joining the staff of The World and Weekend World in 1963.