Northern Nigerian Breaking News

As fake news spreads on social media, here’s SOLACEBASE tips on how to separate fact from fiction

Following the killing of soldiers in Okuama community in Delta State, social media users have shared various reports claiming houses were set ablaze by men of the Nigerian Army to avenge the death of their colleagues.

The out-of-context use of pictures to describe the violent event can have devastating consequences and escalate ongoing conflict as social media is often used as a tool by people to spread falsehood with ‘catching’ or ‘captivating’ headlines while the online users on their part, accept any information that goes in line with their beliefs without even reading beyond the headlines.

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Sometimes, sharers of fake stories are simply not ignorant, but their bias shapes their conclusion.

For these reasons, SOLACEBASE takes our audience through tips on how to separate fact from fiction. 

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Vet of reporter and newspaper 

Just because the site is popular is not a criterion for the accuracy of its contents! It is expected that before we believe any story, we should verify the news website. Do a review of the website contact information, check their previous reports and be sure that the URL ends in a common domain such as .com, .net, .org, etc.

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Many times, lack of author attribution signifies that the “news report” may be fake. (Not in all cases, there are investigative stories that do not require the author’s name to avoid victimisation by those they are holding accountable). We encourage our readers to do quick research about the author(s) of stories and know whether they have a history or background in good journalism.

Check the date

Resharing stale news (without indicating that it is a FLASHBACK) amounts to fake news. It is important for readers to make sure that an old report is not taken out of context. Until you are certain that the report is current, don’t read further or send it out. 

Check quotes, pictures and sources

Media experts often advise that multiple sources are better than a single source. If you notice a lack of quotes or pictures to back up any news report, then suspect the credibility of the report. Since journalism is about gathering facts, it is expected that sources are quoted and pieces of evidence are attached.

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You must be convinced that the report is fact-based before sharing and do a reverse search of sources and pictures.

Consult experts

When you doubt a news report, check a quality fact-checking site if an independent verification has been done on the report before. If not, you can contact us to help you verify what you consider to be suspicious or untrue.

If you follow the above tips, you can rest assured that you won’t be a victim or propagator of false news.

Continue to read and follow our reports via for accurate and accountability reporting. 


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