Social media use and the proliferation of fake news during the COVID-19 pandemic in Botswana: the archives and records management dilemma
Keywords:archives, COVID-19, fake news,, records management, social media
Purpose- To assess the impact of the proliferation of fake news through social media during COVID-19 pandemic on archives and records management in Botswana.
Design/methodology/approach – This is a conceptual paper which adopts the qualitative research approach. Documentary review on fake news, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID19), archives and records management and social media is used to collect data for the paper.
Findings- The main findings were that even though Batswana appreciate social media platforms as they enable easy access to information, these platforms make them more susceptible to fake news and intolerance. This situation has led Botswana to legislate some laws to try to curb the spread of fake news. The paper also established that the digital era has made it difficult for records professionals to identify and preserve authentic records for evidential purposes. As a result, and particularly due to COVID-19, automation of the records manual processes through the use of modern smart technologies has become inevitable for
organisations in the country. Consequently, there is need for continuous training of the archives and records personnel.
Research limitations/implications- The findings of this paper are limited to the reviewed literature on Botswana and may not be generalised to other situations. Practical implications- Findings of this study could assist archivists and records managers in their professional decisions during the post-truth era. The results points to the importance of the preservation of the authenticity and integrity of records.