Increase of Misinformation in Nigeria who is to blame, Government or Citizens?
Not too long ago, the the honorable Minister for Information Lai Mohammed described fake news as a “time bomb” waiting to explode. It is a major threat to a nation as a whole because it has the capacity to throw its citizens into chaotic panic, terror and eventually out of balance. Misinformations in form of fake news spread is a reputation killer and can be used to destroy the reputation of a country and media industry
Misinformation, threaten the peace, unity, security and corporate existence of Nigerians.
To this effect the US embassy said in a widely published statement, referring to the alleged winner’s chapel visa row, advised, “If you have seen this manufactured item in the media, help defeat this misinformation by communicating to everyone that it is completely false.”
The global COVID-19 pandemic is happening at a time when sorting facts from fiction is increasingly difficult. In Nigeria, a tsunami of misinformation and disinformation has accompanied the virus’ spread, provoking fear and exploiting vulnerabilities. Many Nigerians simply refuse to believe the disease’s existence and we ask whose fault is it?
BBC News opines that Misinformation and fake news in Nigeria is nothing new, that
In some cases, the lack of official information has created a vacuum which has been filled by rumours and this only serves to escalate tensions further.
Adaobi Nwaubani a Nigerian novelist from her years of experience in journalism is of the view that while a certain recklessness is to be expected of stories published on social media, an established media house ought to be more responsible.
Nevertheless, that is no excuse for malicious fiction to be presented as fact, as is too often the case in some newspapers here.
Jeniffa Chioma okonji.
Is shocked at what people gain by publishing fake information and is of the opinion that culprits should be jail. In her words ”do people make money spreading fake news? I don’t understand this at all
People should be arrested and jailed for formulating fake news.”
Lady Vivian Vi feels individuals should be held responsible for the growth of fake news because in her words ”It’s all about common sense but unfortunately common sense isn’t that common after all.”
Chidi Okonta says in the curbing of the spread of fake news, everyone is everyone’s watchdog, because the first thing is to be sure of any post or link. I usually read through links, and cross check every News. I don’t just swallow hook, line and sinker because there is a lot deception. So, let’s be careful. On the part of the government, the biggest incitement to crime, is the believe that one won’t be caught and punished. If punitive measures are set up by the government, we will have less of all these gutter press and falsehoods.
Madu Uwaebuka vehemently says in the spread of fake news all relevant stakeholders – telecommunication companies, the media, librarians and other information professionals as well as teachers have a responsibility in addressing the menace. That the Federal Government through its agencies like the Ministry of Information and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) should intensify campaigns against fake news in Nigeria, particularly as it concerns national security.
Secondly, The mass media should make deliberate effort in promoting media literacy to enable the general public know how to sheave facts from fictions.
Thirdly, Libraries, librarians and the academia in general must join hands in teaching information literacy skills to their students in particular and their user communities as a whole.
And The security agencies themselves should champion the campaign against fake news by evolving penetrative strategies comprehensive enough to educate their communities on the threats of fake news to national security.
In summary in the growth of fake news in Nigeria is due to a bid to make news and gain popularity and it is everyone’s responsibility both the citizens and the government. We all have our work cut out for us.
Increase of Misinformation in Nigeria who is to blame, Government or Citizens by Princess Legal World, the law online law bookshops in Lagos Nigeria.