It’s too soon to say whether Google’s, Twitter’s and Facebook’s attempts to clamp down on fake news will have a significant impact.
But fabricated stories posing as serious journalism are not likely to go away as they have become a means for some writers to make money and potentially influence public opinion negatively. Even as Nigerians recognize that fake news causes confusion about current affairs and events, they continue to circulate it, regrettably so.
Only yesterday (Friday December 8, 2017) the internet was awash with the purported news of organized protest in northern Nigeria over President Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The said news further urged people to avoid crowded places as the planned protest could snowball into a full blown civil unrest which could brutally jeopardize lives and properties.
Stakeholders acrossboard should do more in addressing this disturbing menace among us. We need to promote excellent journalism and not irresponsible journalism.
Misinformation can be very difficult to correct and may have lasting effects even after it is discredited. One reason for this persistence is the manner in which people make causal inferences based on available information about a given event or outcome.
As a result, false information may continue to influence beliefs and attitudes even after being debunked if it is not replaced by an alternate causal explanation.
We all should be socially responsible to foster decent and meaningful cyber space particularly in information management, content analysis and information dissemination as the case may be. God bless Nigeria!
Emmanuel Ajibulu is an infopreneur, online publisher and social media influencer.