GHANA’S FAKE NEWS ECOSYSTEM: An Overview

This report explores Ghana’s fake news ecosystem examining key actors in the online and offline space and the origins of their authority; key online information platforms and the interaction between offline media and non-media structures that shape information flows and gender dynamics. Ten interviews were undertaken to augment secondary data gathered from online and offline news publications, academic research reports, current affairs programs on several media stations, and social media engagements. The key informants were purposively drawn from targeted institutions considering their role in the information ecosystem.

Young people, mostly college and high-school educated, constitute a significant percentage of the 31 million Ghanaians, about half of whom have some level of access to the internet. This figure is growing rapidly. This younger demographic increasingly relies on Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Twitter to interact with each other and to mobilize around topics of shared interest. It is this same purpose that has attracted political activists, commentators, and high-ranking officials, who increasingly see the online realm as a place where they can seek to shape and control narratives.