The reality of Fake News in Nigeria
We are living in a generation where the media wields more power than other sectors. There was this adage that says “the pen is mightier than the sword” and I believe we have seen how individuals and nations have shifted from the use of guns and bombs to the use of the media just to disrupt the truth and also use it as a weapon.
Democracy as a system of government has opened the door for various people to express their freedom of speech either they are saying the truth or not, they still express their opinions.
Nigerian as a democratic nation joined other countries of the world in creating an atmosphere for it’s citizens to establish their views and express opinions to propel participation in good governance.
Though the improvement in the freedom of expression and civil liberties were among the immediate advantage of Nigeria transition to civilian rule in 1999.
Fake news isn’t a new thing in Nigeria and there has been various instances were it was been spread using various mediums.
Social media has been the fastest and cheapest means of spreading fake news e.g Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp e.t.c and it has always been made to look like they are been sent by media companies like CNN, BBC, Channels e.t.c.
Fake news is crucial because there are different perceptions that encourages it’s nature and it’s spread. It should be something of great concern to every Nigerian because of its effect in modern democratic politics.
Looking at the way Nigeria is being composed and arranged, it creates a sense of uniqueness which is symbolized by different customs, values, norms, and traditions.
This system has been unable to hold our differences in religion, customs, language, opinions and sentiments which makes Nigeria not immune to crisis and have greatly influenced the rapid spread of fake news and instability among the masses.
Fake news is something of a big concern in Nigeria especially during the period of election and it shows no sign of boiling down or being tackled.
Some of the reasons why people spread fake news is to either destroy the image of a person or an organization, to seek attention, to earn money, to increase tension and cause chaos, to bring relief, gathering momentum, jokes e.t.c.
Fake news spreads like wild fire and could hardly be contained or corrected and it has the power to challenge and give misleading account of the truth.