Where is your conscience when you believe rumour?

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Abideen Muhammed

The way people spread mischievous lies to mislead people in Nigeria especially on social media is too alarming and the way Nigerians believe such malicious lies is another thing. One just needs to exercise patience and go extra miles to ascertain what is truth and the opposite. I don’t know where some people keep their conscience when they believe rumours spread by villains.

Recently, the story of a Bowen University students who impregnated his Vice Chancellor’s wife went viral and received attention from people. People started expressing their opinions on it without fact-checking. The fact-checking carried out shows that it is a blatant lie. That is why I am forced to ask, where do people keep their conscience before kowtowing to any rumour?

What about the case of Buhari – the cloned President? No one in the right state of mind would have believed that Buhari died without any report from a revered Media organization in the international world. I use to tell people that in this digital world, public figures have no more secret. People monitor their movement here and there. Buhari is now Jubril yet international personalities invite him to their function. His Vice President refused to talk so that he can automatically become the number one citizen of Nigeria, how is that possible?

Amanda Quick, said: “When you are rich and powerful, no one will challenge you to your face or give you a chance to explain yourself. All the whispers are behind your back. You are left with no means of clearing your own name. And after a while, you realize there is no point in even attempting to do so. No one wants the truth. All anyone wants is the chance to add more fuel to the fires of gossip. The whispers become so loud that sometimes you think you will drown in them.”

Or we should look at the case of PDP rally recently in the North. The party claimed that three million people attended the rally just to bamboozle the masses. Who doesn’t know that the statement is a political game? Besides, who counted those in the rally before arriving at that figure? Verily, it is the highest rumour one would have ever believed in the political arena. It is true that politicians spread political propaganda in order to earn people’s honour and attention, especially in election time.

What about Buhari’s aide misinformation attitudes? She posted a picture on twitter that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, distributed cash and food at his Sokoto rally held on Monday, December 3, 2018 and was able to gathered over 2000 retweets for a picture later proved by a fact-checking to have first appeared online in February 2017 when a Lagos-based Charity foundation, released photos from an outreach.

It is just like what Adejumo Kabir said quoting a team led by Sinan Aral of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in their journal of science that: “Falsehood diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information, and the effects were more pronounced for false political news than for false news about terrorism, natural disasters, science, urban legends, or financial information”

“It took the truth about six times as long as a falsehood to reach 1,500 people. And it wasn’t bots spreading most of the falsehoods, they found. It was real people doing most of it. Usually ordinary people, too, they found: so-called ‘verified’ users and those with many followers were not usually the source of some of the most popular untrue viral posts.”

Our heart falls to such prey, believing rumours because of our lack of sincerity. We don’t always want to hear the truth anymore but lies. We read only the headline of a newspaper and form an opinion on our own. If care is not taken, it is what can tear a whole state apart. So our mind believes rumours because we also lack sincerity.

We also believe in rumours especially in Nigeria because of our mindset. We have all concluded that Nigeria is a bad nation and so the news therein must be bad. Media houses also give attention to bad things happening around us because that is our demand.

I will leave you with the warning of Allah: “O you who believe! If a Faasiq (liar – evil person) comes to you with any news, verify it, lest you should harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done.” (49:6)

DISCLAIMER: Opinions and views shared in the article are that of the writer and they don’t represent the editorial view of Ojo Medialine.

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