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AN APPRAISAL OF PUBLIC OPINION ON THE PROLIFERATION OF FAKE NEWS ON PEACE MANAGEMENT IN JOS METROPOLIS

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ABSTRACT

The study was aimed at appraising of public opinion on the proliferation of fake news on peace management in Jos metropolis. The survey research was used in this study to sample the opinion of respondents. This method involved random selection of respondent who were administered with questionnaires. The target population of the study comprised of residents of selected areas in Jos Metropolis. The questionnaire administered was one hundred and sixty (160) copies and one hundred and fifty copies retrieved which constitute the sample size. The descriptive and analytical approach was adopted using Chi-square to test and analyze the hypotheses earlier stated. The findings revealed that proliferation of fake news has a significant impact on peace management in Jos metropolis and that media ethics should be employed to check fake news in Jos metropolis.  It was therefore concluded from the findings that the possible solutions to the menace of disinformation, or fake news and its consequences on peace management must be studied from a multifaceted perspective. It was recommended that the reality of fake news demands an appreciation of the architectural and technological models of digital messaging and how these models have reconstituted the meaning of social relations.

 

CHAPTER ONE

1.1     BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY        

The rapid spread of fake news, fueled by the media phenomenon, necessitates inquiry and action. Although fake news is not a new phenomenon, it has garnered a lot of coverage recently due to the widespread use of social media for networking and the dissemination of news and ideas.Social networking is considered as the “lifeblood of fake news” because it encourages anyone to share a sensational baseless message with others at a low cost” (Warner-Søderholm et al., 2018; Klein &Wueller, 2017). The “concern about the dissemination of fake news centers on both the ubiquity of social media and the fast distribution of facts that social media sites afford due to their technological affordances,” according to the study (Allcott &Gentzkow, 2017). The speed at which news material flows within social media encourages the distribution of problematic news content and allows its circulation in a novel perplexing way, and the rapidity at which false news spreads unverified, making it difficult to correct (Lazer et al., 2017).As a result, the spread of fake news has become a worldwide concern. Despite the fact that the problem is global, the spread of fake news is often influenced by local issues and circumstances. What motivates people to share news or fake news, for example, may be influenced by cultural factors that aren’t always captured by motivation typology derived from the vast majority of Western-centric studies.The effects of fake news on peace management as it spreads through society may differ in many ways depending on the community. Recognizing the locality of this global problem, it’s critical to look at the spread of fake news on a micro level. In this paper, we review previous research on fake news in Nigeria in order to provide a microanalysis of the reasons or motivations for fake news dissemination in Nigeria, as well as the consequences for the general public.In this context, our goal is to propose some strategies to help prevent the spread of fake news. Fake news is made up of two words: “fake,” which means “not genuine but intended to be accepted as true,” and “news,” which means “information about current events.”As a result, fake news can be defined as information or news that is not genuine but is presented and expected to be believed to be true. Scholars have defined fake news in a variety of ways, but with nearly identical meanings.The term “false news” refers to a scenario in which propaganda is disguised as a news item in order to approximate the credibility that culture identifies with true news. When it comes to describing false news, many academics concentrate on the intent behind it. McGonagle (2017)Fake news is described as intentionally invented and disseminated content with the intent to deceive and mislead others into believing falsehoods or doubting verifiable evidence. It is misinformation that is viewed as or is expected to be interpreted as news in this case.Allcott and Gentzkow (2017) view fake news as news articles that are intentionally and verifiably false and could mislead readers. Visentin et al. (2019)“Fake news” is described as “stories that are purposefully misleading, accurately depicted, and theoretically verifiable.” According to these concepts, fake news is inaccurate knowledge produced with the intent to deceive people. Tandoc et al .(2018)provide a broader definition of fake news, such as news satire, news parody, fabrication, manipulation, advertising, and propaganda.The authors proposed that there is false news in the form of satire, which is often used in television programmes, fake news using imitation for satirical purposes focused on fictional, fairly implausible news content, and fake news as false news, Fake news in the form of distorted photographs and videos designed to construct misleading agendas, fake news in the form of ads but disguised as genuine media, and fake news as misinformation aimed at influencing audiences’ political orientations and beliefs are all examples of fake news. (Tandoc et al., 2018).The main deducible components of fake news, according to the meanings so far, are the falsity of news material and the intent to deceive or mislead. Fake news has gotten a lot of coverage from researchers because it has such a big effect on society(Allcott&Gentzkow, 2017). In fact, past studies found many adverse effects of fake news. It was found that fake news further polarizes already divided societies (Vargo et al., 2018).In Nigeria, for example, Sadiku (2018) opined that in June 2018, the Miyetti Allah party carried out a gruesome murder of over 86 people in 11 communities in BarkinLadi, Rirom, and Jos South Local Government areas of Plateau state, which was broadcast on social media as revenge. However, according to a new report, the assassinations had nothing to do with the Miyetti Allah group. By then, the spread of fake news stories associated with the killings caused further deaths in the Plateau state of Nigeria. Similar research in the United States found that in 2016, there was a reported US “Pizza Gate conspiracy theory,” in which leaked Democratic National Party emails were disseminated online during the US Presidential campaign, leading to speculations that the leaked emails included an oblique reference to pedophilia and human trafficking, focusing on the family of a pizza restaurant in Washington, D.C. (Barthel et al., 2016). This disinformation resulted in violence, intimidation, and the incitement of people to shoot up a pizza parlor(Barthel et al., 2016). According to analysis, fake news was distributed during the 2016 US presidential elections, implying that Pope Francis backed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. This deceived millions of readers all over the world, as well as causing panic and confusion among Americans(Tandoc et al. 2018). Similarly, in 2016, a piece of false news claiming that Israel had threatened Pakistan with nuclear missiles appeared on the internet, causing widespread consternation(Goldman, 2016). In another incident, a refugee’s Facebook photo was used in many fake news reports blaming refugees for terrorist attacks, despite the person having no connection to the incidents(Torres et al., 2018)

It is important to know the real nature of the problem in order to get a thorough understanding of it. As a result, before learning about peace in different ways, let us first learn about the real nature of peace. What really is peace? The word “peace” is used in a wide range of contexts.Peace appears to have a number of meanings that vary depending on the way in which it is used. Peace is derived from the Latin word pax, which literally means pact, power, or arrangement to end war or other rivalry and confrontation between two persons, two countries, or two antagonistic classes of people.The term peace, according to American military tradition, simply implies the absence of war. As a result, militaries wage battles to keep the peace, or they use coercion to keep the peace. Peace is seen as an ultimate or desired aim rather than a means to an end in military paradigms. Many peace theorists, however, disagree with emphasizing peace only in the context of the absence of conflict. They believe that peace is more significant, beneficial, and necessary than that.Peace, in ’s opinion, is not simply the absence of war, but rather the existence of justice, rule, order, or government in society, as he stated: “Peace is not merely the absence of war, but the presence of justice, law, order, in short, of government”.

The impact of false news on peace management cannot be overstated. Fake news disrupts society’s efforts to create unity. This is because fake news has the potential to incite conflict, and may lead to a collapse in law and order. As a result, the focus of this study is on an appraisal of public opinion on the proliferation of fake news on peace management in Jos metropolis.

1.2. STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

Information sharing is widely viewed as a reliable source of accurate information on what is happening in and about Nigeria. The public relies on a variety of sources when disseminating information to verify or lend credibility to the information they present.” Fake news, the art of fabricating stories from the comfort of your own home because you have a smartphone with cheap data, is quickly becoming the most serious issue in town. No, it is not new. It was not invented in this generation of social media. We have been living with fake news most of our lives.The 1989 Adjustment gram riots, for example, were sparked by fake news and public misinformation.The preceding assertions demonstrate how fake news affects not only the media and society, but also public peace and security. The scourge of fake news and misinformation is becoming more prevalent with the advent of new media, and its impact on peace management is becoming more evident. As Allcot&Gentzkow (2017) said,”In Nigeria, the decline in trust in mainstream media could be both a cause and a consequence of the spread of fake news.” If fake news can disrupt public order, imagine the impact on major information dissemination.The country’s literacy rate hasn’t quite reached the point where everyone understands the difference between social media and printed media. Some people still believe there is no difference between a major online news website and Facebook. To this extent, it is feared that whatever negative impression people have of one is extended to the other

professionals will gain a better understanding of the extent of the damage caused by fake news as a result of this study. They’d learn that it’s better to focus on reliable sources of evidence rather than embellishing what a person shared on untrusted platforms as a narrative for their audience. Therefore is a study center onan appraisal of public opinion on the proliferation of fake news on peace management in Jos metropolis

1.3AIMS OF THE STUDY

The major aim of the study is an appraisal of public opinion on the proliferation of fake news on peace management in Jos metropolis. Other specific objectives of the study include;

1) To assess the attitude of the public towards the proliferation of fake news in Jos metropolis.

2) To examine the causes and consequences of fake news in Jos

3) To examine the impact of fake news on peace management in Jos

4) To examine public awareness on the proliferation of fake news in Jos.

5) To examine the motivation behind miss information Jos.

6) To suggest was of reducing and eliminating fake news in Nigeria

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1)What is the attitude of the public towards the proliferation of fake news in Jos metropolis?

2)What are the causes and consequences of fake news in Jos?

3) To examine the impact of fake news on peace management in Jos metropolis?

4)What is public awareness on the proliferation of fake news in Jos?

5)What is the motivation behind miss information in Jos?

6)What are the ways of reducing and eliminating fake news in Nigeria?

1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

H0: liferation of fake news does not have a significant impact on peace management in Jos metropolis

H1: liferation of fake news has a significant impact on peace management in Jos metropolis

1.6 OF STUDY

This study would enable the researcher to pass their experience on the subject matter to houses, government parastatals, media professionals, schools (students)to serve as a medium for further research

1.7    SCOPE OF THE STUDY 

The study is based onAn Appraisal of public opinion on the proliferation of fake news on peace management in Jos metropolis

1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY

FINANCIAL CONSTRAINT– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

TIME CONSTRAINT– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the .

1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS

FAKE NEWS: Fake news is information that has been deliberately fabricated and disseminated with the intention to deceive and mislead others into believing falsehoods or doubting verifiable facts;2 it is disinformation that is presented as, or is likely to be perceived as, news

PUBLIC : Public opinion consists of the desires, wants and thinking of the majority of the people. It is the collective opinion of the people of a society or state on an issue or problem. This concept came about through the process of urbanization and other political and social forces

PUBLIC PEACE:  a state of tranquility or quiet: such as. a : freedom from civil disturbance Peace and order were finally restored in the town. b: a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom a breach of the peace.

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