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FAKE NEWS PROLIFERATION IN NIGERIA: CONSEQUENCES, MOTIVATIONS, AND PREVENTION THROUGH AWARENESS STRATEGIES
Corresponding Author(s) : Bahiyah Omar
Humanities & Social Sciences Reviews,
Vol. 8 No. 2 (2020): March
Purpose: This study aims to understand the effects of fake news spreading in Nigeria, the reasons for fake news sharing among social media users, and eventually propose preventive measures (i.e. awareness strategies) to combat the proliferation of fake news in Nigeria.
Main results: Some grave implications of fake news sharing were identified such as death, conflict escalation, political hostility, and societal panic. Meanwhile, people were motivated to share news mainly because of their civil obligation to inform others and provide advice or warning. These motivations, together with other contextual reasons such as media control, interpersonal trust and youth unemployment, had led to fake news proliferation in Nigeria.
Methodology: This study adopts a documentary research method to generate the information necessary to investigate fake news spread in Nigeria. A total of 265 articles were drawn from Google Scholar search and after a close examination, only 20 articles were included for analysis.
Implications: There is a need to increase fake news awareness, media and information literacy among Nigerians. Social media users should be constantly informed through adequate advertisements, workshops, conferences, and other forms of sensitization, about the consequences of fake news sharing, how to spot and differentiate fake news with made-up news and why it is imperative to be self-aware before forwarding any message.
Originality/novelty: This paper contributes to knowledge in two ways. First, it compiles past research on fake news in Nigeria and analysed contextual factors and consequences of fake news proliferation in this context. Second, it reinforces the need for fake news awareness as a means of reducing the spread of fake news among social media users in Nigeria.
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