Fake news, rumors, hate speech and harmful stereotypes all have a very negative effect on individuals and the society at large.
Fake news and hate speech have been known to create tension and pandemonium and in some cases violent conflict which is not good for the peace and unity of Nigeria and the world at large.
The sad trend of fake news, rumors, hate speech and harmful stereotypes affect our communities through; aggravated violent conflicts that can result in loss of life and property. It can lead to political crises, civil disputes, tension, and unrest in our country. The sad trend of fake news and the use of hate speech on social media has been known to cause ethnic division in many communities across the country as it builds mistrust among people thereby putting the peaceful coexistence of ethnic groups at risk. This also affects the economic growth of such communities negatively.
Fake news, rumors, and hate speech increase prejudice, and exposure of ethnic groups to harmful stereotypes can increase dehumanization and physical isolation of individuals. They can lead to physical harm, as criminal elements in society can take advantage of such misinformation and hate language to perpetrate evil.
Given the increase in the use of online hate speech, it has become increasingly important to examine the ways in which harmful speeches influence our country. As Nigerians, we must make deliberate efforts to end the menace of fake news, rumors, hate speech, and harmful stereotypes by being conscious of what we say, read and share online and offline, by ensuring that such posts are not intended to incite hatred.
Nigeria needs more anti-fake news and anti-hate speech awareness campaigns like the CIPP project. These campaigns do help in making people understand how to identify fake news and rumors, and what constitutes hate speech and harmful stereotyping.
Stay enlightened, follow the Community Initiatives to Promote Peace CIPP project on Facebook via @cippng and on Instagram and Twitter via @cipp_ng.
The Effects of Fake News, Rumours, Hate Speech, and Harmful Stereotypes on Individuals and Society is a campaign by the Community initiatives to promote peace (CIPP). The project is a response to the increasing threat of violence in high-risk states in the North-west (Kaduna, Kano, and Katsina States) and North-central (Kogi, Benue, and Plateau States) parts of Nigeria.
This ongoing CIPP campaign was developed to increase the ability of community members in CIPP project States to understand the dangers of fake news, hate speech and rumours by enlightening them on how to verify information received on social media.