In Nigeria today, the campaign against fake news is gaining momentum as different news outlets have begun to set up fact checking platforms to monitor and disavow fake news.
As well, the Nigerian government has described fake news and disinformation as a criminal offence which is punishable by a jail term of 6 years (not yet verified though… can this be an example of fake news?)
Particularly, in this period of elections, several civil societies (who have been known to not always mind their business) as well as individuals who parade themselves as patriotic and well-meaning citizens have condemned the rampant and ‘flippant’ dissemination of fake news tagging it a threat to democracy and peaceful coexistence.
However, a study by Dr. Ajakunle Agbenimi has shown that Fake news, contrary, to different allegations is indeed crucial to cognitive formation and increased mental reasoning.
This is contained in his paper entitled ‘Fake News: Emerging Trends in News Forwarding and Persuasive Politics’ published by the International Journal of Lies, University of Falsehood.
While speaking on his research findings, Dr. Agbenimi dismissed those who condemned fake news, describing them as “comprador intelligentsia” and “pseudo-realists”.
He further said, “the argument that Fake news undermines the peace of a nation is a blatant faux pax. Literally, it doesn’t hold any water. It is an erroneous academic premise founded on illogicality and lack of acute reasoning.”
“Ironically, it shows that those who said so haven’t consumed much fake news themselves. If they have they would have changed their perspective of reasoning because the consumption of fake news in its infinite numbers enhances the multidimensionality and increased capacity of the brain.
“You see, fake news reveal at closer scrutiny the human dynamism, ingenuity and the innate scientific prowess to always proffer verifiable claims as explanations to vague or obscure phenomena.
“For instance, an individual wonders why Donald Trump didn’t endorse any presidential candidate in the Nigerian elections. He/she sees this as an unbelievable natural phenomenon. Hence, equipped with adequate mental apparatus, he/she forges a correlate explanation and solution to the mythic silence of Donald Trump. He creates a statement and puts it in the mouth of the president and says, he endorses A. Atiku or M. Buhari, whichever the muses please.
“How is this different from saying the earth is spherical or that man evolved from apes? The truth is the ontology of fake news is purely scientific.
“Tagging such news ‘fake’ is, therefore, inherently erroneous and devoid of reasoning. It should rather be described as the ‘alternative truth’. Nothing is fake or pseudo in itself.
“The conclusion of my findings is that Fake News (alternative truth) is necessary for improved mental ability which is deteriorating in contemporary world and it is only consumption in large quantity that can aid this and bring it to fruition.
“Fake news is like breast milk. When you lack adequate measure of it, you may not be able to think for yourself but live on the precepts of daily newspapers who tell you what is not when you can think for yourself. You should always recourse to the philosophical proposition of the great René Descartes ‘corgito ergo sum’ translated in English as ‘I think, therefore I am’. It is worthy to note that it is ‘I’ not ‘they’ or ‘the newspapers’,” he concluded.