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Review Article Open Access

The Effect of Fake News on Nigeria's Democracy within the Premise of Freedom of Expression

Abstract

The study was conducted to measure the effect of fake news on Nigeria’s democracy within the premise of freedom of expression. The study was anchored on four objectives to find out the rate of the spread of fake news among Nigerians on both social and conventional media; to examine the perception of media audience on fake news and abuse of freedom of expression; to find out the effect of fake news on Nigeria’s democracy; to determine measures that can be adopted in combating fake news The study selected purposive sampling and surveyed 60 social media user from Borno and Yobe (i.e 30 from each of the two states) and administered questionnaire. The study found that majority of the respondents contributes in the information sharing system of media cycle. The study found that that despite the awareness of fake news among the respondents, there is limited alertness with regard to sensitivity of verifying information before sharing. The study also found that politics and crisis suffer more fake news than any other nature. The study found that fake news is still crucial because there are rounds of perceptions that influence its nature and thus its spread. The study also found that the respondents have negative perception about the extent to which fake news can affect democracy and democratic system of governance. The study recommends that awareness should be created so as to enlighten people who use the social media to avoid spreading unverified information and that other social media platform should copy from Twitter in restricting number of text user can post and identification of a verified account.

Fredrick Wilson, Muhammad A Umar

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