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Ugandan App Shows Dangers of Fake News

Africa like many other parts of the world has witnessed a recent rise in the spread of misinformation. Over the past few years, the continent has experienced a string of events propelled by the spread of “fake news.” Now the Pollicy organization, through a partnership with the Mozilla Foundation, wants to tackle the spread of misinformation in East Africa. Pollicy is a Ugandan civic technology organization with a focus on the use of data for advocacy, research, and training. It has created a web-based game called “Choose Your Own Fake News,” where characters explore different scenarios that portray how misinformation can have real-life consequences. Pollicy founder Neema Iyer told CNN that the game was created to allow people to think through how some of their choices can contribute to the spread of inaccurate information. “Fake news has always existed but now with the power of technology, it is amplified and reproduced at a very quick rate. A lot of Pollicy’s work focuses on digital rights, data protection, and all these issues come together to amplify the fact that we need to tackle disinformation,” she said. “Choose Your Own Fake News” has three characters — Flora, a student who lives in Uganda, Jo, a shopkeeper in Kenya, and Aida, a retired grandmother in her 60s. Players step into the life of whichever character they choose and scrutinize videos and news headlines that have to do with job opportunities, vaccines, and election violence.