By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday decried the abuse of technology by certain individuals who use it as a tool for instigating violence.
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Speaking when he received the Chairman and Board members of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, at the State House, Abuja, President Buhari said images were being manipulated to give legitimacy to lies.
According to him, “Generally, technology has been for good. However, in recent times, we are seeing this platform more and more being used to instigate violence and hate.
“Nowhere is this disturbing trend more apparent than in the various media platform, where fake news is gaining momentum and is being used to divide and destabilize communities and indeed, nations around the world.
“We see images being manipulated to give legitimacy to lies. We hear voice on radio preaching falsehood and hatred. We also read stories that are already sponsored by individuals who stand to gain at the expense of truth, peace and harmony. “
President Buhari, however, noted that despite all these, the powerful weapon that can counter such manipulations was truth.
He said: “Like I mentioned a few months ago, at the World Economic Forum in Jordan, since digital information age is borderless, this means we must be ready to respond with the best weapon we have; truth.”
President Buhari urged journalists to save their profession by tackling the growing trend of fake news.
“Journalism as a profession is primarily based on being truthful. With the growing increase in fake news, the future of your profession is under threat and therefore you must be ready to correct this and safeguard your profession and reputation.
“In the case of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, you must proactively develop programmes based on truth, facts and national interest.
“You should also have strategies to react to fake information and sensitize our citizens not to believe stories which source are not credible.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Board Chairman of FRCN, Aliyu Hayatu, advocated more funding for the broadcast outfit.