Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has lamented the negative effect of fake news, adding that it even put him in some trouble with his wife recently.
Osinbajo said a blog put up a picture depicting him posing with strippers.
The Vice-President said upon a closer inspection of the photo, he discovered that he had indeed taken a picture with the women at an entertainment event but they were fully clothed.
He said the blogger picked a photo of where the women were not fully clothed and presented it to the public wrongly.
Osinbajo said, “I have been one of the targets of fake news. It can also sometimes cause you marital peace. I got a call from my wife about three or four weeks ago and she said Yemi what are you doing with strippers and I said what do you mean by strippers? So, I read a story in a famous blog that said, ‘Osinbajo caught with strippers.’
“And there was a photograph of me sitting between two perfectly clothed ladies but underneath this picture, the same ladies were not wearing much.
“In fact-checking, (I noticed that) the photographs with these two ladies at an entertainment event were taken when they were perfectly clothed but by the time the story was put out, it was as though I had taken a photo with them at the time they were not clothed at all.
“As it turns out, I wasn’t in the picture of where they were not wearing clothes but just the caption, the stories and all that gave the impression that here I was in the company of these ladies at a point when they were doing their business. I think the capacity of fake news to cause great harm is not in doubt at all.”
Osinbajo, however, rejected further legislation that would limit press freedom since it included the right to create a blog or post social media messages.
He added, “It will be impossible to regulate social media without in some sense substantially infringing on fundamental rights, especially freedom of expression. There is no way you will leave that power in the hands of the government or the legislature without finding some form of overbearing activity on the part of the government or the legislature.”
The Vice-President, however, called for an international convention that would enable several countries to tackle fake news jointly since those creating the false messages are in several jurisdictions.