Prof. Manny Aniebonam, President of AfriHub, has called for the establishment of `Nigeria Fact Checker Platform’ that would score news items coming out of the country daily.

Aniebonam, a computer expert, made the call at a workshop organised by the Association of Communication Scholars and Professionals of Nigeria (ACSPN) on Thursday in Abuja.

Newsmen report that the workshop has as its theme: “ASCPN Empowerment Series on Fake News and Demand of Evolving Journalism in the Post Truth Era.’’

“I would say that we should start immediately, today, right now, to conceptualise, design and put together a fact checker platform for Nigeria.

“It would score news items coming out of Nigeria on a daily basis.

“ It would also score news operators and news content providers, including bloggers, so that players would be scored from zero to ten.

“Anybody who goes to the Nigeria Fact Checker Platform would know that XYZ is a fake site,’’ he said.

Aniebonam said the platform, when established, would have the capacity to address the flagrant publication of fake news on the social media.

He also said the platform required the convergence of media practitioners, bloggers and computer experts to come to fruition.

He urged participants to continue to fight fake news and always publish the correct versions of events to protect the country’s socio-political landscape from being further destroyed.

Prof. Bolaji Aluko, former Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Utouke, Bayelsa, said fake news syndrome was being used to negatively shape the thoughts of their followers.

Aluko, who is also a blogger, said the present day fake news syndrome took its root from propaganda in communication.

“It is because there is always an agenda; that is why there is always a tendency for fake news,’’ he said.

The don, however, advised the public to be circumspect by sifting news items and understudying the integrity of sites and those behind them before accepting their publication as truth.

On his part, Mr Chido Onumah, Vice President, ASPN, said the workshop was organised to build the capacity of media practitioners and insulate the public against fake news.

He endorsed the establishment of a fact checker platform for the country to help give more legitimacy to news items coming out of Nigeria.

Newsmen report that the workshop was attended by selected media practitioners, bloggers, non-state actors and legal practitioners.


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