Amb. Friday Bako
13th July, 2018
A Senior Advisor to United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Senior Lecturer and Researcher at Centre for Peace and Security Studies, Modibbo Adama University of Technology (MAUTECH), Yola, Adamawa State, Dr. Chris Kwaja has frowned at the alarming rate of fake news and hate speeches in Nigeria and Africa.
Dr. Chris Kwaja spoke at a two-day Youth workshop on Understanding and Responding to Fake News Exacerbating Fears and Insecurity in Nigeria organized by Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) @ Starview Hotel Gwarinpa Abuja holding from Friday 13th to Saturday 14th July, 2018 with participants in Journalism, Media Experts and Civil Society groups drawn across all the States of the Federation.
Dr. Kwaja spoke on how fake news deepen divisions along ethnic, religious and political lines, with the poor masses as the victims.
He said there are people whose political economy depends largely or solely on fake news and hate speeches.
Dr. Kwaja said fake news and hate speeches have done great damages tthough promoting violence, prejudice and stereotype.
He said individuals are retailers of fake news.
Dr. Kwaja frowned at how people are no longer attentive about the credibility of the sources of news.
He said fake news are thriving even more then authentic ones because of the disconnect between the State (government) and the citizens which made many people rely on alternative sources for information saying there is dwindling confidence of citizens on government. He went further to say many people no longer have confidence on Government Media Outlets.
He called on government to do all within its powers to regain the trust and confidence of the people.
He suggests the following as solutions to trending fake news:
1. Ability for individuals to galvanize their voices to counter fake news/hate speeches.
2. Having platforms in which such voices can be articulated. Without platforms the voices may be irrelevant.
3. Influencing the environment with the voices and platforms.
He said once the environment is influenced positively, the individuals living therein would also be influenced positively.
Dr. Kwaja also said there are wide spread of distortion of information which must be addressed.
Other Resource Persons who spoke are Y. Z. Ya'u the Executive Director CITAD, Mr. Chom Bagu, Mr. Jibo, Saleh Momale, Jibrin Ibrahim and Kamal.
Others are Salman, Hamza, Dapo Olorunyomi, Modibbo Kawu & Yima Sen,
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