By Jennifer Okundia
The role of the media in feeding society with accurate information at all times, is such a huge responsibility that should be taken seriously. The pressure of breaking a news and getting traffic, especially with online news platforms, sometimes causes more harm than good.
Misinforming the public at any point, can make a lot go wrong and even instigate violence and aggravate hate
which can lead to unguided actions.
Award winning Media personality Linda Ikeji has stirred reactions on twitter from angry Nigerians who read a story on her blog only to find out the news was fake.
The blog had published an MTN building being razed by fire in Lagos on Tuesday,in the wake of reactions to the South African xenophobic attack on Nigerians.
Social media users however discovered that the picture showing the structure belonging to the mobile network, was reported by Nairaland in 2015 as a building that caught fire in Ilorin, Kwara state. This act made fans call for the withdrawal of Linda’s journalism licence or better still, her media platform be shutdown.
This did not go down well at all, as Linda had given fans a hard pill to swallow. Some Nigerians said she should be arrested while others stated that it was after the blog published the story that angry youths started destroying any outlet belonging to South Africans, thereby she used her platform to influence violence due to wrong information.
See some reactions.
You see this country? Only God can save us
Everybody wan talk.
No wonder we are where we are today. Nonsense and Linda Ikeji#WeNoGetPresident #SayNoToXenophobia #Burnaboy pic.twitter.com/N2riZPi7D8
— Otite (@Otiteenajemo_) September 4, 2019
Linda Ikeji has gone too far this time.
Shops looted. Investments gone. Jobs lost. Cars smashed and robbed. A young man killed.
All because she must drop breaking news.
— David Atta (@the_davidatta) September 4, 2019
So, Linda Ikeji instigated this.
Do we even have media regulations in this country?.
These bloggers need to be cautioned!
— this•guy•arinze🛡️ (@arinzebuchee) September 4, 2019
In a sane country with good law, Linda Ikeji would’ve been arrested by now and her journalism license would’ve been withdrawn cos she is a threat to the nations unity. How can you spread fake news to instigate violence.
— Olorun Tobi 🇨🇦 (@TobiOlorun) September 4, 2019
And in addition, I think Linda ikeji should be arrested for misleading the public, inaccurate information and instigation of violence amongst the public. She should be convicted of treasonable felony.
— sad soul (@Kalumicheal8) September 4, 2019
Linda Ikeji should be arrested and her Site shutdown and she pays fine for misleading and aggravating ready-to-explode minds by sharing fake news.@DrIsaPantami pl do the needful
— Anu (@intuitiveGM) September 4, 2019
to be honest Fuck Linda Ikeji blog for spreading fake news and inciting weak minds to violence.
— 100T Yomi (@steadybanks) September 4, 2019
Bloggers and other media outlets should be punished for posting fake news. There were no attacks until some bloggers (Linda Ikeji) started posting fake news about attacks yesterday. They instigated the actions of Nigerians in Nigeria.
— Èyitayò (@eyiteeonline) September 4, 2019
All of you that have been posting and supporting the boycott of MTN, SHOPRITE, DSTV, and those terrible bloggers led by Linda Ikeji posting fake pictures and videos, I hope y’all know that you fuelled this looting at the malls and riots?? I hope you know??? https://t.co/ZkT7jnIz5J
— *Pablo Martini* (@PabloHoggs) September 4, 2019
Journalists should learn to always do a quick background check or fact checking on any story that will be reported, for verification and authentication purposes, to avoid any form of public misinformation.