The Birth Of NewsVerifier.Africa

The Birth Of NewsVerifier.Africa

I have always been bothered by how quick people are to share unverified news. It reflects even in the journalism being practiced today. On Wednesday, news of the rape and murder of an 18-year-old student in Ibadan filtered on social media. Before any one could say jack, notable news platforms had picked the story.


What was their source? Somebody’s Facebook post. When I saw the story, I had to get in touch with Public Relations Officer, Ibadan Police Command and from my conversation with him, it was clear I was the first person to ask him, not even Ibadan based journalist had called to verify the news

Thankfully, the story was true. What if though?

Earlier this year, a BBC report confirmed that false information and incendiary images on Facebook contributed to more than a dozen killings in Plateau State – an area already torn by ethnic violence.

Sine the start of COVID-19, the battle against the deluge of misinformation has gotten even tougher. From the supposed link between 5G and COVID-19 to stubborn insistence on how corona virus is an attempt by the Nigerian government to steal funds, we are daily faced with yet another false information that has spread like wildfire.

Recently, a PHCN official attempting to disconnect the light of residents who had not paid their bills in a yet-to-be confirmed area was beaten up till he started to bleed. The residents claimed FG had waived light bill for two months because of COVID-19. Was this true? No!!!

https://www.facebook.com/100000515621346/posts/3625698997457252/

The other day, an artisan put off his phone claiming he heard 5G cables were being installed in Lagos and it could kill if your phone was on. He lost a job because of this.

Given how disturbed I am about these issues, I have decided to contribute my quota to ending fake news in Nigeria. Platforms like AFP fact check, People’, PeoplesCheck Dubawa and Cross Checkers have done quite a lot in debunking fake news in Nigeria but more can be done.

And this is with the realisation that many of those spreading false information do not read lengthy posts. It is against this backdrop I co-founded NewsVerfier.Africa.

SAMPLE FACT CHECK





The goal is find relatable ways to debunk fake news and false information to the largest possible number of people on social media, one post at a time. I hope that by simplifying the presentation of the information, people can fact-check at a glance.

If you would like to be a part of this effort, please feel free to reach me on +2348119872865 or hello@zainabsanni.com

Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook. If you would like to be a part of this,

#2020in12stories #Story5of12 #7togo

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