The #NoFalseNewsZone comic book was created by Facebook to help people think critically about the messages they come across online; helping them identify false news and the actions they can take to help minimise its spread.
The three-part comic book features relatable Nigerian characters who go on their personal journey to educate people on how to curb false news and also join the fight against misinformation to help create a #NoFalseNewsZone online.
Here are 5 things we learned from reading the #NoFalseNewsZone comic book.
You must realize that just because a viral story is presented as fact does not mean that it is. People wildly exaggerate story elements, and occasionally just straight-up lie for various motives, like Kehinde Lawal, who posted a video falsely accusing Teju of theft in order to gain public attention. It pays to have good friends like Chidi that will go out of their way to save the day.
2) False news can lead to real-world harm
Spreading false news can cause real-world problems for many people. Like we saw with Mariam’s husband who nearly lost his life from self-medication due to misinformation he found online, Teju being arrested due to a false video post, or Anita’s reputation being called into question by online trolls because she was falsely accused of encouraging property destruction. It is important to think critically about what we consume and create online to avoid causing real-world harm.
3) Always confirm the authenticity of news before sharing.
It pays to be thorough. Before sharing any news story online, be sure it is true. We enjoyed reading how the reporters from Revolve News processed the information they had and how they took their time to confirm and share verified information. So before you repost or share any news story, be absolutely sure it’s legit.
4) Be your brother’s keeper.
The truth is that most people who share false news do not know it’s false before they share it. Take for instance, Faith was convinced she was doing the right thing by sending the information she had received from someone else. She never stopped to do her research and confirm if it’s true or false. Let’s be honest, we’ve all been in Faith’s shoes at one point or another. Thankfully, Nurse Mariam was not shy to share her husband’s experience with her. Talk about how to save a life! All it takes is one person to care. It starts with you!
5) Don’t stay silent. If you spot false news, report it.
If you’ve done your research about a news story and you’ve found it to be false, don’t share it. Report it to Facebook. Just like Anita explained at the end of her video, go to the top of the post and click the three dots. Select the ‘report post’ option, click ‘False Information’, click ‘Next, and click ‘Done’.