Have you ever received those WhatsApp broadcasts that show very gruesome photos and then read “Attention! Miss X took her phone into the kitchen and the gas automatically exploded and blew up her face”? or “Mr Y was on his farm and bees ate up his nose. BEWARE of bees. I’m only sending this because I love you”.
Those messages can be so annoying!
Aside from trying to instil fear into a lot of people, those messages are obviously fake and are meant to guilt-trip you into sharing or reposting it – just for clout.
The worst of them all are those ones that read “Knock Knock, this is Jesus talking. If you love me, send this to seven people and if you hate me, don’t send” or “If you want to go to heaven, send this to seven people. Don’t send if you want to go to hellfire.” These messages can be aaarrggghh… so peeving!
If you have ever reposted those WhatsApp messages out of fear, sorry o, but at least you know better now.
At first, these messages could be mostly found on Facebook and Whatsapp – the headquarters of fake news. Nowadays, fake news has graduated to other social media platforms, especially Twitter and Instagram. In fact, the wave of fake news has expanded beyond WhatsApp broadcasts. They are now everywhere – in daily tweets and social media posts.
On the 11th of October, Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari got married… on social media. Of all the fake news being peddled on our social media platforms, this one takes the cake. In fact, in the world record of social media, no country has ever successfully carried out an e-wedding for its president, except Nigeria.
It was funny enough that people spread the news of the president’s supposed wedding to Sadia Umar Farouk, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs with the hashtag #BUSA2019. It got more hilarious when invitation cards where printed, photoshopped photos of the couple were going viral and photos of ‘supposed’ wedding guests sufficed. In fact, there was food.
Let’s take you through how the fake wedding went…
First of all, meet the groom and bride
You’re cordially invited
The wedding guests are arriving
Even the DJ has arrived
The ex-president is showing off his moves
While this is all fun and games, peddling fake news has the capability to ignite a crisis or destroy a person’s reputation and career.
During the xenophobic attack in South Africa, a Nigerian blogger came under fire for peddling the news that Nigerians were retaliating using a photo of an MTN building being burnt. It was later discovered that such never happened and the photo was quite old and had no bearing on current events.
Many Nigerian celebrities have, at one point in time, had to debunk a lot of fake news in order to protect their reputation.
Remember how angry you were when Tiwa Savage said most Nigerian ladies have nothing to bring to the table except sex? Well, it was fake news! And she had to quickly debunk it because people had started dragging her.
There was a time when Oby Ezekwesili was dragged for fighting in an airplane. In fact, there was a video of the fight circulating and she also had to clear the air on that.
Omotola Ekeinde and Genevieve Nnaji are also a few of the many Nigerian actresses that have had to debunk fake news over and over again.
Few years ago, we were also magaed into believing that Genevieve and D’banj were in a relationship. Some of us had even bought asoebi. Ashey it was all a lie.
Remember when they also said that Beyonce and Jay-Z were planning to split? Ehn? Our heart was doing gbimgbim. They even lied that both of them have both removed their rings. Chai!
See, it is good to verify any news you see on social media and blogs now, because these fake news peddlers are not here to play. If anyone also lies against you online, it is better to debunk it immediately. Fake news is capable of destroying all you’ve built over time.
It is so bad that some people now open fake accounts with fake username, just so they can peddle fake news. If you’re not careful, they will also jonz you.
Anyway, if you are one of those planning to share any fake news, be aware that the Federal Government has launched a campaign against fake news and you won’t go scot-free. Don’t say we did not warn you.
So people, what fake news has riled you up before you realize you were being pranked? Give us the gist in the comment section.