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Kinshasa: Young People Trained in Content Production Pledge to Fight Disinformation

The young participants will form a digital army capable of detecting false information and images taken out of context and countering them with the real facts. Photos MONUSCO

“From a smartphone, I will produce videos to echo good information”. Blessing Kasasi, aged 15, is a women's and children's rights activist. She participated in a training in Kinshasa supported by MONUSCO on the production of digital content with the help of a smartphone.

Altogether, thirty young people grouped in a relay club and several other organizations took part in it late June. The objective was to build their capacities in the fight against disinformation, which is taking on worrying proportions on social networks.

"There is no point in taking an image broadcast for just purposes, diverting it from its context and manipulating it in order to harm," said Himlish Nketani Nsiala. The law student at the Catholic University of Congo also participated in this training.

He particularly regrets the disinformation campaign against the work done by the UN Mission in the DRC. He pledged to "do [his] best so that information about the mandate and work of the UN Mission known as MONUSCO reaches a larger number of the population".

The attendees will thus constitute a digital army capable of detecting false information and images diverted from their context in order to oppose the real facts, thereby indulging in “fact-checking”.

Creating appealing content

"How to create attractive video content to fight disinformation on the Web?" is the theme developed by Giscard Mido, from the Digital Marketing organization – one of the two trainers.

In this module, it was a question of explaining how the telephone can be used to reverse the trend of "fake news" which abounds on the web. To this end, the participants were provided with the mechanisms for collecting, processing and disseminating verified news, in particular on the importance of cross-checking information and verifying them at the source.

To allow them to combine theory with practice, MONUSCO provided learners with essential tools for content production, namely smartphones equipped with editing software.

MONUSCO, which organized this training, wishes to involve several sections of the Congolese population in the fight against disinformation which has already caused several damages, with their harmful consequences within the communities.

Beyond the production of videos, the participants were also introduced to shooting and photojournalism.

Professor Guillaume Kingh-Farel, another trainer, enlightened them on the different faces disinformation and manipulation can take on social networks. According to him, "these practices are used as a weapon of war to undermine MONUSCO's peace efforts in the DRC".

Based on the "fake news" detection techniques, members of the relay club will now work to attack the viral false information distilled on social networks by simultaneously spreading objective and credible information.

The relay club is a structure made up of young volunteer students who have understood the need to counter the virality of false information by disseminating good and true information to a wider audience.