Click-bait and sensational headlines are the order of the day in blogosphere. The aim is to trigger emotional responses from the reader and drive traffic to blogs. This has made it very difficult to distinguish between what is real and what is false in today’s world.
Our attention has been drawn to a circulating story about late Isa Funtua and Ahmed Kuru which has been surreptiously attributed to TheCapital. In this era of website spoofing and counterfeiting, this is to let the unsuspecting general public know that the story was and is not from our media platform.
The second paragraph of the said story which was written over one year ago, gave the source of the story out as “daybreak”.
The second paragraph reads: “A highly placed source at the headquarters of the Economic and financial crimes Commission, EFCC yesterday told daybreak that the President was thoroughly embarrassed with the allegations linking him to the transactions.”
As media practitioners, we hold late Funtua in a high esteem as an influential media practitioner, the former President and Life Patron of the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN). We also could not have derided Ahmed Kuru, as we are privy to his track records in public service, especially his stewardship as Managing Director of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
For the umpteenth time, another faceless blog feasted on blatant falsehood and outright lies in relations to our media business at TheCapital. Our silence, if maintained, would have given credence to the falsehood as our story and also would have been misconstrued for consent for spreading the fake news.
It is unfortunate that this absolute falsehood is being assisted with the ubiquity of social media.
Thus, no time is more auspicious than now for the advocates of fact-checking to intensify on their crusade in order to stem the increasing damage of fake news.
We are in an age when anyone who could barely string a sentence together takes advantage of the anonymity of the internet to punch their keypads, come up with utter falsehood and disseminate widely as contents all in a bid to set cyberspace into a virtual conflagration.
It is the propagation of such fake news that the advocates of content censorship always point to, to amplify their voices for censorship. While censorship stifles the freedom of speech, no efforts should be spared to nip the activities of fifth columnists whose stock in trade is concoction and dissemination of falsehood.