The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has declared its readiness to work with the federal government to curb the spread of fake news, especially on social media.
The youth council said as a people, there was the need to be vigilant to ensure that fake news doesn’t set the country ablaze in the name of freedom.
The Vice President of the council, Mr Akoshile Mukhtar, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at the National ICT and Social Media Summit 2021, with the theme: ‘ICT: Use of Social Media for National Integration and Development’.
He explained that while the traditional media provides the platform by which information and ideas are transmitted to a large number of people to establish social cohesion and promote a unified set of values and worldview, social media on the other hand provides platforms for transmitting ideas but using ICT tools.
Akoshile said, unlike traditional media, social media puts the power to broadcast messages in the hands of ordinary citizens.
He noted that social media, therefore, provides certain strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the continued corporate existence of Nigeria as a united entity that is firmly on the path of development and progress.
According to Akoshile, “Whereas social media provides opportunities for dissemination of information to vast audiences in record time, it is incapable of distinguishing between true and positive information and the false and negative ones.”
He said this seems harmless among the young and active populace but has enabled a potent monster in the society, saying it has potential devastating consequences if unchecked.
He stated: “As a people, we must be vigilant to ensure that fake news doesn’t set our collective strength ablaze in the name of freedom to share anything we see.
“Of course, I am against throwing the baby out with the bathwater by way of blanket ban or shut down of social media by the government, but I also believe that working with the government, the office of the citizen can checkmate the raging fire that is fake news, to ensure that we are able to continue to harness the potential in social media use.”