Opinion

EDITORIAL: Beware Of Fake News And Always Verify Information For Its Authenticity

Nasaibitu  villagers in Wainibuka, Tailevu, had first-hand experience about the impact of fake news this week. Acting on fake information given to them, they came to Albert Park in Suva
20 Jan 2018 11:02
EDITORIAL: Beware Of Fake News And Always Verify Information For Its Authenticity

Nasaibitu  villagers in Wainibuka, Tailevu, had first-hand experience about the impact of fake news this week.

Acting on fake information given to them, they came to Albert Park in Suva to attend a supposed ceremony where the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, was to dish out grants.

Three carrier-loads of villagers,  costing $1200, arrived in the capital and discovered hours later that they have been duped.

No ceremony was supposed to be held and no grants were supposed to be issued.

Whoever was responsible for this fake news must be held to account because this a serious issue.

The motive behind it is not known. At the moment it can only be speculated until the Police have completed their investigations.

With the campaign being escalated in the run-up to the general election, we hope it was not politically motivated. Because if it was, then it is gutter-level politics designed to discredit Mr Bainimarama.

At the moment there is fake news doing the rounds, particularly on social media. Some are not necessarily about politics, but nevertheless their impact on the lives of people affected can be disastrous.

In the case of Nasaibitu villagers, they wasted a whole day waiting for the PM to turn up. Up till yesterday they had not paid the transport costs to the carrier owners.

The other disturbing aspect of this case is how easily people accept information without verifying their authenticity.

The verification process is crucial if we do not want to get disappointed or hurt.

In the coming weeks, political campaigns and rallies will intensify. Expect an information overload. What we need to do is to sift through the information and isolate fact from fiction.

We saw in the 2014 general election the misinformation spread by some politicians to score cheap political points.

While we exhort all our politicians to be honest and truthful in their campaigns, sometimes some of them distort facts on issues to suit their political agenda.

The Nasaibitu villagers’ experience is a wake-up call for all of us to be vigilant in ensuring that we are getting the right information.

We cannot be naïve and accept information without checking its validity.

Otherwise,  we can only blame ourselves. The other side of the coin, of course, is the victim. In the Nasaibitu case, the PM has been maligned.

As the Police continue their investigations, let us not allow ourselves to be manipulated and exploited by self-serving individuals to achieve their selfish motives.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj



Fijisun Ad Space


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Win Christmas with Tower Insurance
Advertise here
Covid 19 - SPC
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper