The Portfolio Committee on Communications and Digital Technologies concluded a symposium on Wednesday in which discussions with industry stakeholders took place on the impact of digital media in misinformation, disinformation and content moderation ahead of the 2024 national elections.
The two-day symposium was held at the Government Communications and Information Systems building in Hatfield, Pretoria. TikTok, Meta, Google and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) took part in the symposium, among other roleplayers.
Other stakeholders who participated included Media Monitoring Africa, SOS, Research ICT Africa and the National Association of Broadcasters. The Department of Communications and Digital Technologies led all presentations on day one, followed by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa, the Films and Publications Board, SABC and the Independent Electoral Commission. Presentations mainly focused on measures that will be put in place to guard against misinformation, disinformation and content moderation in the 2024 election season.
The Chairperson of the committee, Mr Boyce Maneli, said that the symposium has empowered members of the committee with the knowledge to exercise effective oversight over the department and the entire communications sector. “The past two days have presented us with a unique opportunity to pave a way forward in ensuring that misinformation, disinformation and content moderation never thrive in the upcoming elections,” said Mr Maneli.
Mr Maneli further said that Parliament through collaboration with industry players should ensure strict implementation of sector regulations. He also said that digital skills will go a long way in minimising misinformation, content moderation and disinformation.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.