APC Chieftain Caught Spreading Fake News On Facebook
Less than a week after the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, kick-started a campaign against the proliferation of fake news, a top member of the ruling party has been caught posting false information on his social media page.
Yesterday, July 17th, the publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos, Joe Igbokwe posted a clear misinformation to thousands of his followers on his Facebook wall. Accompanied with a picture, which was apparently taken inside Aso Presidential Villa of a police officer walking past President Muhammadu Buhari, who was sitting behind a desk in the background, Mr Igbokwe posted:
“Please meet ACP Obinna Chukwuka, the tear rubber Chief Security Officer to Mr President,” Mr Igbokwe wrote. Tear rubber in local parlance means ‘new’.
The post was apparently used to depict the president, who has come under verbal attacks over the perceived lopsidedness of his political appointments, as a detribalised leader.
Findings revealed that the claim made in the post was false as the president is yet to replace his Chief Security Officer, Bashir Abubakar. As at today’s afternoon, the post had attracted over 140 likes and had been shared over 30 times.
When reached for comments Mr Igbokwe said the post did not originate from him adding that he merely copied it “because it was trending”.
“If you look at it you will see that it was copied. The thing has been trending. I copied it from… you know sometimes you copy from a reliable source. It didn’t come from me. It was from a particular source I can trust,” he said during a telephone interview.
But when asked if he confirmed whether the news was true before posting, a bemused Mr Igbokwe replied: “No o. No o, because I said I trust those people. I have my friends on Facebook. Is it false? Is it false? If is false. I have pulled down so many stories that are false.”
He added that he did not confirm the veracity of the post because nobody has flagged it as fake.
“Because I have seen it trending and nobody has said it was fake news, I have seen some of my reliable partners post it that is why I shared it.”
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