BBC says fake news fuelling crisis in Nigeria

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has blamed fake news on the social media for fuelling the inter-community clashes in parts of Nigeria.

At least 1,800 people have since January been killed in the clashes between farmers and herdsmen.

“Fake pictures circulating on social media which users are falsely claiming depict inter-communal violence are inflaming already high tensions in Nigeria,” the BBC reported.

The international media outfit singled out the graphic images whose originators claimed were from recent violence in Jos Plateau.

Pool of blood

“A gruesome image of a woman face down in a pool of blood with a gaping shoulder wound is purported to be from the recent attacks.

“It has hundreds of retweets on Twitter, but it first appeared on the Internet in 2011 in a story about domestic violence in Nigeria,” the BBC said.

The BBC further made reference to an unverifiable reports by media organisations in the country which it said aggravated the crises.

“Earlier this week, major Nigerian news outlets ran a story claiming that Mr Danladi Ciroma, a leader of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in north central Nigeria, said the attacks in Plateau were revenge for the loss of 300 cows.

Tendered an apology

“Since these cows were not found, no-one should expect peace in the areas,” the Premium Times online newspaper quoted Mr Circoma to have said.

Mr Ciroma disowned the report and the media organisation had reportedly tendered an apology and sacked the author of the story.

The online newspaper last Friday defended its image as a frontline publication that would not compromise credibility.

It noted that the story with the headline, “Killing of nearly 100 people in Plateau ‘retaliatory’ — Miyetti Allah’’ turned out to be false.

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