The Police Command in Cross River has warned social media users and bloggers operating in the state to desist from using `online’ to spread fake news.
The command gave the warning in a statement by its Spokesperson, Mrs Irene Ugbo, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, on Friday in Calabar.
Ugbo said that some bloggers and social media users were in the habit of posting fake news on their blogs and websites to propagate cheap blackmail by inciting the public against government institutions.
She said that the command, in collaboration with the leadership of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the state, would not hesitate to deal decisively with any individual or group peddling fake news.
According to her, some of the bloggers who have joined the media profession without requisite training and journalism background were frustrating the cordial working relationship of NUJ and the Police in the state.
Ugbo said that some unscrupulous social media bloggers were trying to frustrate the media’s effort and reputation gained in championing the enthronement of democracy and respect for human rights in the country.
“They are in a habit of posting fake and unconfirmed stories in their respective websites and social media platforms, aimed at cheap blackmail and spread of rumour to incite the public against government institutions.
“In the same vein, the command wants to categorically state that the fake news making rounds on social media that three babies were stolen at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital is not true.
“The story is a blatant lie and calculated attempt to undermine or tarnish the hospital’s reputation, thereby causing security breach in the state and the hospital,’’ she stated.