Curbing fake news

Curbing fake news

SIR: The alarming rate of spurious news and information of this era can no longer be overlooked.  It ranges from individual on the social media to well organized news media. One wouldn’t believe that there are millions of self-acclaimed internet journalists until one peeps through the wall of Facebook – the walls that need not a ladder nor stool to climb- or you scroll through the ground of twitter where babbling of phony and fallacies usually cloud the pukka ones. This uncontrollable act has caused information lethargy in the minds of the readers or listeners to the extent that they prefer being uninformed to having to gulp misinformation.




The mind-sets of the brain box behind the fake news and information are not to inform the people but to grow their followers, viewers or listeners with conspiracy theories cooked and spiced in their inner cocoon. They exploit their audience vulnerability and gullibility to boost their fames and statures both economically and socially.

The outbreak of coronavirus has seen an outburst of spurious news and information that the world has not witnessed before. Every nook and cranny of the internet is wallowing with information without sources. It is very hard to separate news from a false rumour.

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To curb the malady, different countries have formulated promulgations. In India, anybody caught with act -especially with respect to coronavirus- will be put behind the bar for a year. In South Africa, anybody convicted of fake news on coronavirus will use six months in captivity. The Republic of China punishes the defaulter with nothing less than three years and not more than seven years in prison. The offender will either pay $120, 000 or be imprisoned for up to six years in Malaysia. At times, the defaulter can bag the both depending on the gravity of the crime.

People like you and I created the problem; definitely, you and I can solve the problem. We can do that by following the simple logic of “If you didn’t see it from a reliable source, heard from a genuine origin, do not create it with your small brain nor copy it from a baseless source and share it with your smartphone”

Also, the government needs to promulgate laws and edicts that will restrict the perpetrators. Anybody caught with the act should be punished so as to serve as retributive and deterrent to others.

  • Muib Shefiu, Federal University of Kashere, Gombe.



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