The Impact of Fake News and the Emerging Post-Truth Political Era on Nigerian Polity: A Review of Literature

Umaru A. Pate, Danjuma Gambo, Adamkolo Mohammed Ibrahim


Since the rising to notoriety of the present ‘genre’ of malicious content peddled as ‘fake news’ (mostly over social media) in 2016 during the United States’ presidential election, barely three years until Nigeria’s 2019 general elections, fake news has made dangerously damaging impacts on the Nigerian society socially, politically and economically. Notably, the escalating herder-farmer communal clashes in the northern parts of the country, ethno-religious crises in Taraba, Plateau and Benue states and the furiously burning fire of the thug-of-war between the ruling party (All Progressives Congress, APC) and the opposition, particularly the main opposition party (People’s Democratic Party, PDP) have all been attributed to fake news, untruth and political propaganda. This paper aims to provide further understanding about the evolving issues regarding fake news and its demonic impact on the Nigerian polity. To make that contribution toward building the literature, extant literature and verifiable online news content on fake news and its attributes were critically reviewed. This paper concludes that fake news and its associated notion of post-truth may continue to pose threat to the Nigerian polity unless strong measures are taken. For the effects of fake news and post-truth phenomena to be suppressed substantially, a tripartite participation involving these key stakeholders – the government, legislators and the public should be modelled and implemented to the letter.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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