appealed to Online Publishers not to lend their platforms to the
spread of fake news, warning that they stand to lose credibility if
their publications are identified with fake news.
The Minister spoke during an interaction with online publishers and
social media influencers in Lagos on Tuesday, in furtherance of the
National Campaign Against Fake News which was launched by the Federal
Government in Abuja 11 July 2018.
”Your credibility, and indeed your source of livelihood, is at stake.
If the society loses confidence in the media, especially social media,
because of fake news, you will be the worst hit. And we are very close
to that point now.
”Today, nobody knows what to believe anymore. You read something
online, and within a few hours, it is
denied. The fake news epidemic is spreading fast,” he told the
publishers.and the influencers.
Alhaji Mohammed urged the publishers to lend their support to the
campaign, just like the traditional media has done, saying: ”A
starting point is for you to put a banner on your various platforms
that says: SAY NO TO FAKE NEWS! Of course, a platform that abhors fake
news will not engage in one.”
He also appealed to Nigerians to do two simple things: Before sharing
that information on Facebook, Twitter or
WhatsApp, ask how credible the source is, and Don’t share any
information for which you can’t vouch.
”The war against fake news is a must-win. As a multi-ethnic,
multi-religious nation, Nigeria cannot afford an unbridled spread of
fake news. This phenomenon is exploiting our fault lines to aggravate
the crises in the country,” the Minister said, adding that the
government will neither resort to coercion nor censorship in the
He said the fake news phenomenon has exacerbated the crises in the
country, citing a recent BBC report that says fake news circulating in
the social media is fuelling the farmers-herders crises in Nigeria.
”Gory pictures from other lands are circulated freely via Facebook,
WhatsApp and Twitter, purportedly
being from the killings in Benue or Plateau States,” Alhaji Mohammed said.
The National Campaign Against Fake News is aimed at sensitizing
Nigerians to the dangers posed to the peace and security, democracy,
and indeed the corporate existence of Nigeria by an unbridled spread
of false information.