Jamaica Observer: GOSHEN, St Elizabeth — Prime Minister Andrew Holness has charged that the “intense scale” of misinformation being disseminated online and in the media is a threat to democracy.

“There is so much misinformation about what the Government is doing or not doing, that the average person who does spend an hour or so on social media or is listening to the radio while driving or may get a chance to scan the headlines, the information that you receive is largely incomplete. Some of it, totally inaccurate and a large section of the information, certainly in terms of where it comes from, is designed to mislead and create a false narrative,” Holness said on Friday in Goshen, St Elizabeth.

“There has never been a time in our history where misinformation, false narratives and outright lies could be manufactured and disseminated at such an intense scale as today. Therefore, the average person is consuming information that is not necessarily accurate,” added Holness.

Addressing his audience at the National Housing Trust’s handing-over ceremony for 256 housing solutions at Friendship Oaks phase one, Holness said the misinformation might influence people’s decision-making.

“If you are going to make decisions rationally you have to make decisions on information and if the information you are receiving is inaccurate it will lead to irrational and inaccurate decision-making, which would be a challenge for our democracy, if people are making choices [based] on false information,” he said.

“… As citizens, as persons, who will participate in the democracy of our country we cannot reduce these serious matters to fun memes and to reduce serious and critical conversations to less serious attempts at understanding the issues that we face,” he added.