Internet has become a platform where people use to do a variety of things, In fact almost everything is now online; small and large business where you can buy a product and pay online, registration and screening for educational institutions, recruitment for security agencies and the likes.
It has also become a source and way of dissemination of information by journalists to a large heterogeneous number of people within a few seconds.
Social media is a network using Internet that allow people to interact with other people within and outside their sphere which they know not each other before.
Facebook, twitter and whatsapp are some of the social networks used by most especially youths in Nigeria. But unfortunately, some people are using the medium to disseminate fake, unscreened and unverified information. They are claiming of being journalists by opening a groups and or pages where people used to like them so that to get latest news. You can see for example a page named “breaking news”, ” News of today” and the likes.
There are so many pages that have been created by those fraudulent journalists claiming a particular newspaper or any broadcast or print media organization. For example you can see a page named ” Daily trust”, ” Leadership newspaper” , ” Peoples’ daily” and so many others which these pages are not belong to those media organizations. If you may asked a person where did he get a particular information, he may tell you “from a reliable source” perhaps from daily trust, which it is not from that newspaper, this resulted most of the media organizations found their image tarnished in the eyes of the public. You can hear some people are saying “media organizations are liars”.
The question here is, how people can recognized the real page created by the newspapers? this is what some people complained, because they can not identity the real pages for the newspapers because if you search for a particular newspaper you would see many which you can not say “this is the real one”
Ahmad Iliyasu, residing in Kumo town Gombe state who is also using social network, said most of the pages of the newspapers cannot be recognized one time, until you are very careful ” If I want to like a newspaper’s page, I will just search and I know I will see many, what I used to do is, to follow them one by one until I came to the real one”.
Some people relied on those pages to get stories. The risk behind this is, the pandemonium they are causing in the society because most of the information disseminated by them are not true or some part of the piece is not verified.
Recently, people started circulating rumor on the issue of police recruitment on facebook, twitter etc saying the Nigerian police force have started selling their forms online, this make people rushed and visit the website given to them to filled their information. All these were disseminated by those bogus journalists.
The issue of ethics and the rules and regulation of journalism must have been violated because, a person who undergoes a training in his field must have know the principles regarding his job, but the one who does not know about it the reverse is the case.
Most of the time those people used to violate even the rules of the state by perhaps disseminating so many defamatory information, vilifying people in different styles.
Those people did not restrict themselves to only information, but they are also committing business deception, where they used to advertise a product to people online where you can see an advert saying “purchase a brand new car at low price”, which they used to received money from people and, at the end, you cannot have the product and you lose your money.
Fortunately for them, they are also publishing obscene pictures that is capable of annihilating the minds of the young ones.
Due to the connivance of our security agencies on our internet, this fake reports continue circulating in different styles to a huge number of Internet users.
The treacherous information on social media caused tumultuous amongst people. And the information through the medium is very powerful and sophisticated because of the millions of people that are using it every second mostly youths, both genders.
If you think well you will find out that the dangerous of those people is too much and need not to be neglected by the responsible authority.
By Imrana Sulaiman, a level 400 student of mass communication department, Bayero university, Kano