News

NOT COOL! Internet of Lies, Gullibility and Insanity

By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo

They say there’s always the positives and negatives to everything and the internet is no different. They say there are so many good things to derive from the internet; make money, get reach and attain exposure but they did not tout louder the dangers that loom on that platform.

A danger on the internet that has become increasingly disturbing is the penchant of some unscrupulous persons fabricating tales about public figures – fictions that are absurd, unfathomable and damaging to some extent.

Popular actress/TV presenter, Nana Ama McBrown, after enduring long seasons of lies engineered over her life, marriage, work and others had to eventually bow to whatever pressure and offer a rebuttal to the latest inanity that has been powered by some dodgy persons on the internet.

McBrown is just one of a plethora of examples of how unknown, irrelevant and devious persons have decided to use the route of fabricating and projecting lies to gain traction and popularity on the internet – at the expense of these innocent public figures.

Source of Motivation

Most of these internet ‘gangsters’ who prey on popular folks in Ghana reside overseas and it is confounding what really motivates these people to sit down, come up with such outrageous stories and disseminate to the public.

What is most baffling is the confidence with which these people sit in front of their cameras to utter such nonsense and one wonders where they derive their motivation.

Lack of meaningful employment, perhaps. Most of these people are unemployed, have nothing doing so, they figure that creating a platform on social media could be their conduit of getting busy.

Popularity! It is easy to set up a blog and there are quite a lot in the system, with a number of them having faceless people behind them. Most are irrelevant and their quest to garner relevance and prominence is to engage in the promulgation of fake news.

Negativity sells, they are aware. These purveyors of such fake news are privy to that understanding that bad news travel fast so they capitalize.

Outrageous Storylines

If the story does not sound ridiculous, it will not catch the eye, so these guys go all out to fabricate and make it damning. So, Nana Ama McBrown has been sacked, LiWin’s baby mama is mad, Kelvynboy is dating a woman in America for green papers etc.

The more the ridiculousness of the story, the likelihood it generates more impressions – likes, comments and share.

In their bid to generate content for their blogs, they would go at all lengths to make such stories convincing, like using fake pictures and videos to complement their stories. Nana Ama McBrown has delivered twins so, it is necessary to get a picture or her holding the babies. That is how devious these guys can be, just to popularize their blogs.

Too Gullible

The news is that Nana Ama McBrown has been sacked from UTV. The news was shared by many, discussed and projected extensively. Incredibly, on the set of ‘United Showbiz’, the show that she’s supposed to have been given the boot from – has a banner with her picture. Anytime the show goes on a commercial break, her face pops up and every other person that sits in for her on the show announces he/she is sitting in for McBrown.  There is enough evidence there to prove that she has not been sacked yet, there are many people who believe the story and are convinced she’s been sacked.

But wait, there’s more!

The other news has it that, she has delivered twins and people believe it. She went through a 9- month pregnancy period and hid it, delivered the babies and refused to share such good news? Nana Ama McBrown did not do a special photoshoot to celebrate the babies and no credible media firm did not project the news?

That is how gullible we are as a people!

Response Meaningless?

Nana Ama McBrown did something she’s not done before, by offering a response to the fake stories. One could understand why she may have felt it was germane to respond but she played into their hands – unfortunately.

She gave them the attention they needed and gave them more opportunities to put more spins on her response.

There would be more fake stories on McBrown. It won’t end and she can also not keep up. By offering a response to the ‘sack’ and ‘twins’ stories, it means she has to also respond to every other speculation, rumour or fake story about her. She cannot do it.

In the face of such development and the spread of such fake news, one ought to be cautious and professional in dealing with such. Rebuttals and responses to such fabrications would not stop the canker.

We Ought To Do Better

As consumers of the news, we need to do better in our ability to decipher what is fake and what is real. Our bane is how easily we fall for such outlandish news, even when there are clear evidence that such fables could only be fibs. As consumers of the news, we are so engrossed in the negative projection of others, so we fail to see the signs of deceit when they are in front us.

As consumers of the news, we make ourselves culpable as bearers of fake news by virtue of our penchant of spreading them instead of killing them. We are no different from these inapt persons and blogs that engineer fake news when we are the one that facilitate the spread. In fact, as people who spread such news, we are the biggest enablers of the industry of fake news.

We must be better!

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