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Is This The Death Of News? - Politics - Nairaland

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Is This The Death Of News? by MathsChic(f): 2:12pm On Mar 08, 2017
You are a curious little fella. You’ve been so since your mama had you. You can’t explain it. Since you became of wise age, not a day has gone by that you didn’t consult a book and take out snippets of texts to check out at the gigantic library housed in the university nearby. All the time, you read those fun pamphlets, got lost in novellas and researched the things you encountered. And it was good. But that was before Google came and your world changed.

Now, you punch away on your smartphone. It’s a Techno, just that grade you could afford after a lot of savings. Though small, it meets your fancy and is suited to all your curious engagements. You have installed the Google search app, made its location prime on your widgets list and situated it top on the totem pole. You run to it for every bit of information, every bit of inquiry; answers arriving at the screen just as fast as light travels between workstations around the world and through cables lying deep in the Atlantic.

Some day, curiosity got the better of you. You held your phone in your hand, your fancy Techno, and suddenly wanted to know who owned the company. Google to the rescue! That sort of information would not be available in the library now, would it? The results came and you “confirmed” Techno belongs to a certain Nigerian named Nnamdi Ezeigbo; after all, this is “reported” by several links on the first page of your results and many more when you click next. In fact, the answer enjoys such prime position there is an excerpt just waiting for you below the search bar.

And while you browsed through the results, you spotted a warning about a type of Amstel Malta can which hosts a fake, possibly lethal, version of the drink. Stay away, they said. A host of blogs are reporting this. Running another search on it reveals many more results from many more sites, all listed on Google’s first page. In your surfing around the web, you stumbled again on a story about a mum who beat her daughter for getting pregnant, possibly breaking her back from the intensity of the beating. This was reported on Twitter and immediately circulated, nay “shared”, all around blogs, many of which have taken no pain to re-edit the story and have simply “copied and pasted” with no qualm. It’s rather strange that the stories all read the same, but then it happens. Only, you may have been misled.

Nnamdi Ezeigbo does not even claim to own Techno. Indications show he may only have been instrumental in leading the company to its bigger market in Nigeria. Leading brand, Amstel Malta does not have potential deadly replicas out there in fake cans. That much the company later came out to say. And couldn’t every Twitter story be the imagination of a troll or fame wh.ore?

Though the proliferation of blogs in today’s Nigeria may have enabled the creation of a thousand more jobs in a country feeling the impact of biting recession, it has also resulted, perhaps unwittingly, in a mass manufacture of “facts” or “news” that carry the potential to misinform and to mislead. In the race to be the go-to blog, administrators and webmasters are now showing no desire for scrupulous journalism. Stories are not fact-checked, nor are leads investigated. Google, unable to make a distinction between true and false, and relying exclusively on its algorithms to do the sorting, unintentional connives with the bloggers in listing their “facts”. This used to be the job of editors in big newspaper houses; but in a one-man blog management, who seeks to delay news releases for the sake of truth? Ah, truth! News used to be the exclusive preserve of newshouses, print and media. And it once carried that bit of underlying ethos of truth, of veracity. Today, that would seem past.

Bloggers now publish “news” items and they enjoy readership newshouses can’t rival. By sensationalizing, culturing bias and lowering the standards of feedback, they easily nurture a followership that is entrapped and loyal. Is this the death of news? Is this the death of fact? Is this the death of a population?

Lalasticlala, Seun

3 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Is This The Death Of News? by damibigmo(m): 2:20pm On Mar 08, 2017
hmmm true
Re: Is This The Death Of News? by naturalwaves: 2:39pm On Mar 08, 2017
.
Re: Is This The Death Of News? by naturalwaves: 3:03pm On Mar 08, 2017
Mathschic, this is a very nice article. The main problem with most people is that they do not understand the algorithm of a search engine like " google". Many people are always so fast to utter the word " ask google" , "let us confirm from google" etc without knowing that all what google does is basically to take the user to any link or wherever such queries or anything similar to it appears online. Google and other search engines have been seen as a demi god that have answers to all questions whereas, this is not the case. Aside the surface scratching of merely looking up stuffs, users need to verify or make further checks on the links provided by google to ascertain if such can be trusted. If I ask a question concerning a world cup event for example, a link like the fifa's website from google can be trusted because FIFA is the organiser of the competition every four years. Imagine seeing a link from something like " Lola Ademola's blog" or one of those numerous funny blog names for the same query. Common sense should tell one not to take such serious. That is just a slight verification process. Every information one sees online should be subjected to scrutiny

Moreover, the blogosphere needs to be cleansed from what my sister terms " vanity blogging". Every one just want to blog and the annoying thing is that 80% of these so called blogs only do copy and paste and they are usually the carrier of fake and unverified information.

The same stupidity is usually brought here on this platform when some people will ask you to type " Buhari is ..............." or " Jonathan is a ........" on google and then those funny suggestions start coming up. As funny as these sound, some people still end up believing those. Do not be surprised if you hear them say " google said Jonathan is a failure", "google said Buhari is a dullard" etc.

Key points of the write up;
1. Google and other search engines are not some demi gods or oracle that knows everything. They only provide links to things that appear online.
2. The blogosphere is filled with vanity blogging.
3. Every information seen online should be verified for authenticity.
Thumbs up Mathschic!

5 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Is This The Death Of News? by MathsChic(f): 4:39pm On Mar 08, 2017
naturalwaves:
Mathschic, this is a very nice article. The main problem with most people is that they do not understand the algorithm of a search engine like " google". Many people are always so fast to utter the word " ask google" , "let us confirm from google" etc without knowing that all what google does is basically to take the user to any link or wherever such queries or anything similar to it appears online. Google and other search engines have been seen as a demi god that have answers to all questions whereas, this is not the case. Aside the surface scratching of merely looking up stuffs, users need to verify or make further checks on the links provided by google to ascertain if such can be trusted. If I ask a question concerning a world cup event for example, a link like the fifa's website from google can be trusted because FIFA is the organiser of the competition every four years. Imagine seeing a link from something like " Lola Ademola's blog" or one of those numerous funny blog names for the same query. Common sense should tell one not to take such serious. That is just a slight verification process. Every information one sees online should be subjected to scrutiny

Moreover, the blogosphere needs to be cleansed from what my sister terms " vanity blogging". Every one just want to blog and the annoying thing is that 80% of these so called blogs only do copy and paste and they are usually the carrier of fake and unverified information.

The same stupidity is usually brought here on this platform when some people will ask you to type " Buhari is ..............." or " Jonathan is a ........" on google and then those funny suggestions start coming up. As funny as these sound, some people still end up believing those. Do not be surprised if you hear them say " google said Jonathan is a failure", "google said Buhari is a dullard" etc.

Key points of the write up;
1. Google and other search engines are not some demi gods or oracle that knows everything. They only provide links to things that appear online.
2. The blogosphere is filled with vanity blogging.
3. Every information seen online should be verified for authenticity.
Thumbs up Mathschic!
Good analysis, naturalwaves. You on point with this. I couldn't help laughing at that "Lola Ademola's blog" sha.
Nice one.
Re: Is This The Death Of News? by naturalwaves: 5:17pm On Mar 08, 2017
MathsChic:

Good analysis, naturalwaves. You on point with this. I couldn't help laughing at that "Lola Ademola's blog" sha.
Nice one.
Thanks. Honestly, those blogs are just so annoying coupled with those names derived from copying Linda Ikeji's format. Naija bloggers and copy copy....................help me with that Zuma's pic cheesy grin cheesy cheesy
Re: Is This The Death Of News? by waledeji(m): 5:32pm On Mar 08, 2017
OP grin grin grin

Re: Is This The Death Of News? by Gerrard59(m): 5:37pm On Mar 08, 2017
I see many on my Whatsapp group chats. Majority and unfortunately deal with health matters thereby endangering readers who cannot research for accurate answers. When you tell them continuously that they post wrong information, they see you as a sabi sabi person.


I don tire.
Re: Is This The Death Of News? by Feraz(m): 11:13pm On Mar 08, 2017
naturalwaves:
Mathschic, this is a very nice article. The main problem with most people is that they do not understand the algorithm of a search engine like " google". Many people are always so fast to utter the word " ask google" , "let us confirm from google" etc without knowing that all what google does is basically to take the user to any link or wherever such queries or anything similar to it appears online. Google and other search engines have been seen as a demi god that have answers to all questions whereas, this is not the case. Aside the surface scratching of merely looking up stuffs, users need to verify or make further checks on the links provided by google to ascertain if such can be trusted. If I ask a question concerning a world cup event for example, a link like the fifa's website from google can be trusted because FIFA is the organiser of the competition every four years. Imagine seeing a link from something like " Lola Ademola's blog" or one of those numerous funny blog names for the same query. Common sense should tell one not to take such serious. That is just a slight verification process. Every information one sees online should be subjected to scrutiny

Moreover, the blogosphere needs to be cleansed from what my sister terms " vanity blogging". Every one just want to blog and the annoying thing is that 80% of these so called blogs only do copy and paste and they are usually the carrier of fake and unverified information.

The same stupidity is usually brought here on this platform when some people will ask you to type " Buhari is ..............." or " Jonathan is a ........" on google and then those funny suggestions start coming up. As funny as these sound, some people still end up believing those. Do not be surprised if you hear them say " google said Jonathan is a failure", "google said Buhari is a dullard" etc.

Key points of the write up;
1. Google and other search engines are not some demi gods or oracle that knows everything. They only provide links to things that appear online.
2. The blogosphere is filled with vanity blogging.
3. Every information seen online should be verified for authenticity.
Thumbs up Mathschic!
Nice points up there.

Angela Merkel once complained about something like this where she talked about Google and other search engines, asking them to divulge their algorithm so that people's perception won't be distorted. I can't remember where I read someone's comment but the person mentioned if using a search engine, make sure you search towards the subsequent pages to get a near accurate information as the first three pages may be filled with links to people's opinions of which we know their bias is contained there in.

naturalwaves:

Thanks. Honestly, those blogs are just so annoying coupled with those names derived from copying Linda Ikeji's format. Naija bloggers and copy copy....................help me with that Zuma's pic cheesy grin cheesy cheesy
www.nairaland.com/attachments/4885820_46534359kjpegd2ea285a44370bbeb61d265f939b44f71_jpeg260bd396ae44b2fe1fe786e89f627cdc

grin

1 Like

Re: Is This The Death Of News? by babyfaceafrica: 11:20pm On Mar 08, 2017
To on many fake stories and people are making money from it....bloggers that publish false stories and articles should be jailed..this is a time ,that guy in north Korea was in charge.. A minimum if 25 yes for any false story publish by anybody on social media and maximum of death penalty... . people don't know the harm of fake stories!!!

1 Like

Re: Is This The Death Of News? by MathsChic(f): 11:37pm On Mar 08, 2017
Feraz:
Nice points up there.

Angela Merkel once complained about something like this where she talked about Google and other search engines, asking them to divulge their algorithm so that people's perception won't be distorted. I can't remember where I read someone's comment but the person mentioned if using a search engine, make sure you search towards the subsequent pages to get a near accurate information as the first three pages may be filled with links to people's opinions of which we know their bias is contained there in.

www.nairaland.com/attachments/4885820_46534359kjpegd2ea285a44370bbeb61d265f939b44f71_jpeg260bd396ae44b2fe1fe786e89f627cdc

grin
So this is the Zuma pic cheesy
Christ!
Re: Is This The Death Of News? by naturalwaves: 3:39pm On Mar 09, 2017
Feraz:
Nice points up there.

Angela Merkel once complained about something like this where she talked about Google and other search engines, asking them to divulge their algorithm so that people's perception won't be distorted. I can't remember where I read someone's comment but the person mentioned if using a search engine, make sure you search towards the subsequent pages to get a near accurate information as the first three pages may be filled with links to people's opinions of which we know their bias is contained there in.

www.nairaland.com/attachments/4885820_46534359kjpegd2ea285a44370bbeb61d265f939b44f71_jpeg260bd396ae44b2fe1fe786e89f627cdc

grin
Thanks for helping me with pic. Naija bloggers and copy copy are 5 and 6 grin grin grin
Re: Is This The Death Of News? by Feraz(m): 5:19pm On Mar 09, 2017
naturalwaves:

Thanks for helping me with pic. Naija bloggers and copy copy are 5 and 6 grin grin grin
grin

1 Like

Re: Is This The Death Of News? by zsch: 5:06pm On Mar 19, 2017
Very valid piece. I learnt of Audu Maikori' arrest on Twitter and in the early days, influentials carried the news as if he was abducted by the government. The retweets and quotings were numerous but that was before it came to light that he did disseminate false news which was not as good as carrying a headline screaming for human right (I'm not arguing the abuse of the sanctinty of safety in this case, just stating fact).

"Coke and Benzoic Acid"

Bloggers were quick to draft "Coke shipping toxic level of benzoic acid to the Nigerian Market". Virtually every article I read described how Nigeria is a failed state as we don't have effective governing bodies to checkmate corporations and how we must steer clear of Coca Cola drinks till "they can prove the claim baseless. What they forgot to mention is that Benzoic acid and its salt are used as preservatives, that " benzoic acid react with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in some soft drinks, forming small quantities of benzene, which causes cancer and other illnesses. Benzene is a "notorious cause" of bone marrow failure". There was virtually nothing useful by means of scientific facts contained within any of the publications, just sensationalizing. No investigative journalism contained within articles. Even typos gets copied and pasted and personal opinions ripe with individual emotions are shoved down readers throats.

Talking about the giant media houses, a good number of them run with baseless stories off blogs too. One has to wonder what one can do to get unbiased, factual news.

3 Likes 1 Share

Re: Is This The Death Of News? by IamaNigerianGuy(m): 8:23pm On Mar 19, 2017
zsch:
Very valid piece. I learnt of Audu Maikori' arrest on Twitter and in the early days, influentials carried the news as if he was abducted by the government. The retweets and quotings were numerous but that was before it came to light that he did disseminate false news which was not as good as carrying a headline screaming for human right (I'm not arguing the abuse of the sanctinty of safety in this case, just stating fact).

"Coke and Benzoic Acid"

Bloggers were quick to draft "Coke shipping toxic level of benzoic acid to the Nigerian Market". Virtually every article I read described how Nigeria is a failed state as we don't have effective governing bodies to checkmate corporations and how we must steer clear of Coca Cola drinks till "they can prove the claim baseless. What they forgot to mention is that Benzoic acid and its salt are used as preservatives, that " benzoic acid react with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in some soft drinks, forming small quantities of benzene, which causes cancer and other illnesses. Benzene is a "notorious cause" of bone marrow failure". There was virtually nothing useful by means of scientific facts contained within any of the publications, just sensationalizing. No investigative journalism contained within articles. Even typos gets copied and pasted and personal opinions ripe with individual emotions are shoved down readers throats.

Talking about the giant media houses, a good number of them run with baseless stories off blogs too. One has to wonder what one can do to get unbiased, factual news
.

Pay for a subscription news service. My favorites are the NYT and Guardian.

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