The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said that fake news on social media, if left unchecked, is capable of destroying the world.
The Minister made the comments during an interview on Channels Television’s News Night which was aired on Monday.
“The mix of fake news using social media platforms has now become a cancer that if the world does not take time, it will destroy the world,” the minister said.
While noting that he has always been at the forefront of the fight against fake news, the minister reiterated his stance that “the next war will be caused by fake news,” calling for collaboration among stakeholders to tackle the menace.
“If we do not take the issue of fake news, social media seriously, it will be at our own peril,” the 69-year-old old noted.
He, however, dismissed fears that the Federal Government may want to stifle the media via the regulation of social media, explaining that stakeholders have always been carried along in the country’s quest to curb fake news.
“The government is setting up a high-powered committee to see how we can make social media more responsible,” he said. “And I want to say this clearly, nobody has the intention of stifling the media.”
He accused social media platforms of double standards especially during the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests that rocked the West African nation in October 2020.
“It was fake news. Unfortunately, the major players like Twitter and co were supporting this,” he stated.
The Minister’s comment comes on the heels of a kidnap that took place in a secondary school in Kagara, Niger State that led to the abduction of scores of students by gunmen.