The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), on Thursday, warned Corps members against peddling fake news especially in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was even as it expressed worries over the increasing spread of fake news, stressing the need for ‘well-articulated advocacies’ to battle the menace.
In a statement signed by the Head, Public Affairs, Mrs Adenike Adeyemi, NYSC urged corps members not to yield to fake news which are capable of causing more harm than good.
The statement reads: “As the globe reels under the heavyweight of COVID-19 pandemic, a serious threat that has affected virtually every country of the world, blind to race, creed and social status, it is very worrisome that the hard-hit nations, struggling with the devastating health blows dealt by the scourge, with attendant economic implosions and social dislocations; the creation and dissemination of fake news have been added to the mix.
Coming home, it has assumed a monstrous stature, therefore requiring well-articulated advocacies to contain.
“If we cast our minds back to the year 2014 when we battled the highly deadly Ebola virus, a particular fake news was created and bandied about by some mischievous Nigerians which caused many people across the country to tread the dangerous path of drinking salted water, as well as bathing with same.
“The ungodly news resulted in so many deaths, especially among the hypertensive patients, whose blood pressures, triggered by the excessive consumption of salt went astronomically high, thereby leading to avoidable fatalities.”
It further maintained that with the raging COVID-19, pandemic, so many unverified stories have been created, but stressed the need for corps members to be able to decipher between fake and credible news.
“With the raging COVID-19, ranging from the seemingly serious ones, to the outrightly absurd and ridiculous ones which someone with an elevated mind such as yours, should be able to decipher as false.
“While urging you as smart people to always verify the source(s) of news, so as to guard against being made a fool of, which swallowing the news, hook line and sinker represents, he admonishes that you join the vanguard against the spread of fake news, in order to root out the dangerous malaise from our Nation.
“Therefore, it behooves you to interrogate every news, knowing its source(s), in order to make an informed judgment. Being armed with the distilled details shall place you on a good stead to give out the correct information to the less-informed,” the statement added