Concerns have been raised that the prevalence of fake news accounts on social media may be as a result of political role players staging an onslaught against the independent media.
Fake Twitter accounts have emerged of Talk Radio 702, the Sunday Times and Huffington Post, with misleading and inaccurate information.
This included stories about Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and others.
Dr Somadoda Fikeni says fake news sites and twitter accounts are a weapon being used by political role players.
“You would have had people who may try and stage an onslaught on some of these independent news [agencies] because they might see them as hostile, and this is the era of cyber warfare.”
He says some politicians are inclined to try to discredit major news organisations.
“The trend that is likely to grow is one of discrediting major media houses rather than working with them, the issue of the integrity of these houses will come under scrutiny and political attack.”
Fikeni says conversations around prioritising cyber security for media houses and educating the public on how to identify fake accounts should be held more frequently.