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HomeNewsBONews Partners Cerudite, Hold Community Sensitization On Fake News, Misinformation

BONews Partners Cerudite, Hold Community Sensitization On Fake News, Misinformation

BONews Service in collaboration with Cerudite has sensitized residents of Abogunloko Community Development Association (CDA) in Ikotun on the rudiments of fake news, misinformation, and how to conduct basic fact-checks.

The one-day community sensitization which was tagged “Community Sensitization on Factchecking Misinformation in Lagos” was supported by Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative and Fact-Check Africa.

In her presentation, Ms. Blessing Oladunjoye, Publisher of BONews Service, explained that fake news refers to false or misleading information presented as news, adding that it can be intentionally created to deceive readers or unintentionally shared due to misinformation.

Speaking about the impact of fake news and misinformation, Oladunjoye noted that “in a community setting misinformation can undermine public health efforts, fuel social unrest, and erode trust in institutions.”
She also added that “communities bear the brunt of its consequences, facing confusion, division, and sometimes, even violence.”

While urging the participants to be weary of spreading false information, Ms Oladunjoye noted that “factchecking empowers individuals to make informed decisions and reduces the spread of false information”, adding that “it would help communities to cultivate a culture of accountability and critical thinking.”

Mr. Seun Akinyemi, a volunteer with Cerudite ….thereafter charged the community members to “question information, seek credible sources, and verify information before sharing; whether online or offline.”

Mr Akinyemi appreciated the community members for their active participation and urged them to remain united and take it as a responsibility not to spread misinformation.

Responding, the CDA chairman, Mrs Glover Oshodi, the CDA Secretary recalled that the community had been a victim of misinformation in the past, and its currently causing community members an arm and a leg to resolve it.

Mrs Oshodi explained that “there was a time we were told to contribute 4000 Naira to fix the electricity of the community, but some groups peddled fake news and said the chairman wanted to extort us. Eventually people didn’t pay the money, and years later, we have to pay up to 20,000 Naira to address similar issue.”

Noting that the sensitization has been insightful and would help community members take necessary actions whenever they encounter fake news or misinformation, Mrs Oshodi implored other participants to adhere strictly to the guidelines on how to factcheck information before spreading.

Engr Raphael Azu, the Financial Secretary of the CDA also noted that when in doubts, community members should not share any information as it may cause more damage than intended.

Other community members including Mr Moses Ogunyemi and Mr Abiodun Fagbohun also clarified that fake news peddler usually have an agenda, and it is essential that community members are not used as tools to share misinformation.

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