Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said about 50% of the news making the rounds online is fake.
He stated this on Friday when he visited the headquarters of DAAR Communications, owners of African Independent Television and Raypower FM, in Abuja.
Mohammed claimed the trend was influenced by social media and that it could tear the fabric of society, if not checked.
He said: “There was a time when the spoken and the written words were not challenged or questioned, but today it is not so.
“About 50 per cent of what we read in the social media is not true but unfortunately even when it is not credible, it goes viral and people believe the fake stories.
“My greatest problem and worry is with the traditional media, which are latching on the same fake news and disinformation.
“I am worried because it affects the credibility of the media itself and once the media is no longer believed by the people, then it has serious consequences on the society.”
“Within 12 hours of leaving the country, news that he has died went viral, later it changed to that he was critically ill.
“This actually heated the polity and even the rebuttal of the spokespersons to the President and myself, did little to dampen the rumour.”