African Political ‘Communiques’ And Why They Are So Hard To Authenticate
Recent events in Chad and the region have demonstrated the inefficacy of communiques and determining their veracity. With press release wars, and false documents abounding, it can be difficult to determine who said what.
In this “how to” I’ll demonstrate how easily basic communiques can be replicated, ways to secure the identity of official documents, and methods to verify the authors of a document.
As seen above, the average basic press release is easy to replicate, a fact that can have disastrous consequences. In a recent saga in Chad involving the the suspension and then resumption of talks in Doha, press releases flew around social media, with authentic communiques difficult to verify, it was anyone’s guess what was happening.
This is one of the releases published regarding the suspension, it has since been claimed invented. While it is nearly impossible to definitively call this press release a sham, it should be noted that several of the signees no longer hold the posts attributed to them on the document.
Here are four questions to ask, that could help you determine the authenticity of a document.
- Source: Was it distributed by an official and reliable source?
- Signature: What is the signature on the document and do they currently hold the role claimed in the press release?
- Watermark: Does it have the organization’s original watermark and font?
- Language: Is it available in ALL official host country languages?
Consistency can also improve the security of press releases, but more secure and verified channels for release of such documents are ultimately necessary for the guaranteed authenticity of official documents.