Doctored Videos Used To Propagate False Claims

As Nigerians prepare to head to the polls to elect new leaders who will steer the affairs of the country, the use of election misinformation and disinformation has become a weaponized tactic employed by supporters of various political parties. This is usually in an attempt to sway public opinion and in turn influence the election outcome.

The weaponization of misinformation and disinformation in Nigerian elections has overshadowed the traditional forms of political manipulation such as hate speech and ethnic profiling. These tactics have been dominant in Nigerian elections in the past, particularly in the northern regions of the country, where ethnic clashes have occurred in the aftermath of elections. The 2011 elections were a prime example of this, where ethnic tensions boiled over into violence that resulted in significant loss of lives and property.

With the advancement of digital technology, political actors are exploiting the ability to manipulate audio-visuals and images, to further their political agendas and sway public opinion.

They use the manipulated content to cast their political rivals in a negative light, and make them appear untrustworthy or unethical in the eyes of the electorate. To give credibility to mis/disinformation, actors are also using altered videos, images and photos to push false narratives.

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Candidate Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) faces a campaign hurdle as some of his supporters have resorted to using doctored videos featuring Hollywood stars, to falsely claim endorsement of his candidacy.

A manipulated video was circulated online showing Hollywood celebrities holding a white placard reading ‘Yes, it makes sense to vote for Peter Obi in 2023’. The video features a Nigerian map and a ballot paper with a thumbprint of Peter Obi’s affiliation, the Labour Party (LP). This video is part of a deceptive effort by some Obi supporters, to give the false impression of endorsement from Hollywood stars.

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Ifah Sunday Ele
Ifah Sunday Ele
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