The prevalence of fake news relating to the COVID-19 pandemic heightened the need for Moroccans to access high-quality and accurate information through audiovisual channels.
Rabat – Morocco’s Minister of Culture Othman El Ferdaous said the COVID-19 crisis has allowed a sort of reconciliation between Moroccans and the country’s audiovisual field.
El Ferdaous made his statement on Tuesday during a session with the Financial Control Committee at the House of Representatives.
El Ferdaous emphasized the value of accurate information Moroccans receive which increased in the context of the COVID-19 crisis through the Broadcasting and Television National Company (SNRT).
The parliamentary session included a presentation for SNRT and Audiovisual Studies and Achievements (SOREAD 2M).
El Ferdaous’ defense of the audiovisual field came in light of several fake reports and misleading information that circulated throughout Morocco since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in March.
With the emergence of COVID-19 on Moroccan soil, various people including social media influencers claimed that the virus does not exist, prompting Moroccan authorities to take legal action against individuals who spread misleading information.
Other fake news targeted lockdown measures, with social media users sharing fake documents in the name of the government.
Each time the government’s spokesperson intervenes to deny the news and urges Moroccans to check the veracity of information from official sources.
In June, Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani warned against fake news as Morocco started to ease lockdown measures across the country.
“Any decision will be announced after assessing the situation through official channels,” he stressed.
Other fake information targeted the education sector. In May, the middle of the 2019-2020 school year, a false report claimed that the Ministry of Education will enforce a “blank year” due to the COVID-19-induced closure of schools.