Wole Soyinka: Take social media stories with a pinch of salt

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has again cautioned Nigerians against believing everything they read on the social media but rather take such online publications “with a pinch of salt.”

Soyinka gave the warning on Saturday in Badagry at the unveiling of an art gallery in commemoration of his 85th birthday.

“Be very, very careful what you believe even when you read such materials in social media or sometimes in newspapers because in this country, we have a most fertile multiplier effect.

“When somebody hears something, he puts it on the Internet, it spreads and an industry begins as people start commenting on things which never existed.

“Positive, negative or neutral, it doesn’t matter; what matters is that somebody’s identity has been stolen and some contemptible cowards are responsible for stealing that individual’s identity.

“Putting words in his or her mouth and thereby generating totally non-existent irrelevant contestations.

“So, when you read things on social media, take it with a pinch of salt, decide whether it makes sense because the person who posted it might have a private agenda,” Soyinka said.

The Nobel Laureate said that the social media was supposed to be an “empowering media” which was being abused by some people.

“Sometimes on social media, you’ll even see trending quotes supposedly from me, with my name, my photograph, with statements which represents what those people want to say but lacked the courage to say it,” he said.

He however advised people to read books when in doubt in order to question the authenticity of what they see on social media.



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