Somalia tackles misinformation and violence in key forum led by information minister

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Minister of Information Daud Aweis concluded a two-day forum addressing the critical issues of misinformation and incitement to violence. The event brought together experts, policymakers, and community leaders, focusing on strategies to combat these challenges and their impact on peace and stability.

The forum highlighted the threat misinformation poses to societal harmony, with discussions emphasizing the need for robust measures to counteract false information and prevent its escalation into violence. Minister Aweis stressed the importance of the forum, calling for unity against fake news and misinformation to protect the country’s well-being.

The conclusions drawn from the forum will shape a comprehensive approach to address misinformation and violence, ensuring a collaborative effort to protect and promote national unity. This initiative by the Ministry of Information marks a significant step toward enhancing the country’s resilience against the dangers of misinformation.

The forum comes at a time when the impact of social media on societal discord in Somalia is becoming more apparent. In recent months, Somali authorities have cracked down on social media influencers accused of spreading clan-based insults and inciting public disorder. On May 21, 2024, the Banadir Regional Police arrested 21 influencers for disseminating clan-based insults online. These arrests, deemed as spreading “disorder and discord,” have led to heightened tensions and highlighted the financial motivations behind such content. Influencers have admitted to leveraging clan affiliations to generate income, which has exacerbated societal divisions.

Additionally, on Saturday, the Somali Police Force arrested over 40 individuals in Mogadishu for engaging in immoral behaviour and public incitement.

Following the two arrests, the Banadir Regional Police Command emphasized the government’s responsibility to maintain social order and urged parents to monitor their children’s activities.