HMD Global’s Kola Oshinowo Proffers Solutions to Spread of Fake News at SMW 2019
The on-going Social Media Week 2019, popular as SMW, Lagos, is reputed as one of the largest gatherings of ICT, Tech and Social Media enthusiasts in Nigeria. The week-long knowledge fest provides a platform for sharing and cross-fertilisation of ideas, trends, insights and inspiration to help people and businesses understand how to make the most of a hyper-connected world.
The event features a central stage for keynotes and panels, multiple rooms for workshops, masterclasses and presentations, and an area dedicated to co-working, networking and interactive installations.
One of the highpoints of the opening day was a panel discussion on “Fake News: How New Media is Changing the Course of History.” The organisers knowing that news on social media is powered by mobile devices aptly sought and got HMD Global’s Senior business manager, Kola Oshinowo to share ideas at the panel discussing the topic.
The session discussed several issues including:
- How much fake news has impacted the world, Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
- Why developing countries are even more vulnerable to fake news.
- How to discern between fake news and real news.
- What is being done the world over to combat fake news.
- Why your voice and stories matter to combat this.
Speaking on the role of smartphones in the spread of fake news, Kola said, “The rise of mobile devices, especially smartphones, cannot be totally disconnected from the rise of fake news and the ease with which they are shared.”
Other panellists were, Amaechi Okobi, Group Head, Corporate Communications, Access Bank. Laila Ijeoma of Laila’s Blog, Tolulope Balogun, Head of Presentations, News Central, Tosin Ajibade of Olorisupergal. The session was moderated by amiable Uche Ajene, Managing Consultant, Quadrant MSL.
Kola also spoke about how people are being snared into traps online and the major financial consequences for millions of people. “Many people are being scammed of their hard earned monies online, particularly on WhatsApp, where things can easily go viral,” he said.
Asked if there was any role smartphone providers could play to help stop the spread of fake news, he answered, “As more and more fake news links are getting shared, security is becoming an issue for smartphone users. This explains why HMD Global, the Home of Nokia Phones prioritizes security and is commit to pure, secure and up-to-date Android OS on all it Nokia phones, where its users get monthly security updates to keep their phones secure in this age of fake news and fake links.”
On the way forward to help reduce the spread of fake news, Kola said, “Users need to be more aware and conscious of verifying news before they share. Be wary of what you’re clicking or sharing, else you’re exposed to all sorts of malware.