With rumour mongers, fifth columnists and mischief makers working hard to undermine the gains of the Restoration Administration, it is pertinent for the public to differentiate between genuine and fake social media practitioners. The difference is like light and darkness but some people may not know because of lack of interest in what goes on in the cyber space.
1. A genuine social media person uses his/her face and Identity such as pictures but a fake social media person either uses either some other Identity or his/her identity in such a way that other friends will not recognize the picture. For example, If you see a facebook profile with a picture that is not clear or any other object (s) in place of the picture, then know that the person is fake. Because they use fake identities, they can maintain multiple facebook pages with different names and identities. Their intentions are sinister and wicked. Watch out for people with such traits.

2. A genuine social media person provides information about his/her background such as City/ town/Community, family name, marital status, educational background etc. If you check a person’s profile with very scanty bio data, then spend sometimes to monitor the person’s activities and soon you will be convinced that the person is fake.

3. A genuine social media person will be proud to show you the pictures of his relatives and friends and identify with them in special occasions. You can hardly see this from fake social media practitioners. This is why the saying “show me your friends and I will tell you who you are” is applicable. For example, fake facebookers can hardly identify with close friends and work as a team. Their identities are fictitious so they are not proud of what they do. Soon, this inferiority complex degenerates to narcissistic tendencies. In most cases, for fear of being exposed, they have very few known friends and may not be ready to connect with even the few friends they have. Such fake persons demonize the facebook.

4. Real social media practitioners are guided by the ethics of the journalism profession but the fake persons throw the ethics to the dustbin. Because of the flagrant disregard for these ethics, fake social media people deliberately make friends with and even pay hackers and wire tappers. Hacking and wiretapping are criminal activities that society must condemn. Their stock in trade is to send viruses, display obscenity in pictures as well as on youtube. In extreme cases, they even spread viruses to damage the gadgets of others.

5. Fake social media persons do not make any meaningful contributions in respect of information dissemination, education and entertainment (the three most important functions of the mass media). The public will know them because on any social media platform, any contribution one makes is attributed to the person. The contributions of a man are not hidden. “By their fruits you will know them”.

6. Like any other media, social media practitioners are supposed to protect human rights, public safety and the interest of the masses as against petty parochial interest. Genuine social media practitioners try to achieve these ideals through objective criticism of public policies, fair assessment of people and what they stand for and using the TRUTH as a weapon even in very contentious arguments. On the contrary, fake social media persons shy away from objectivity and truth. Their arguments are always tilted and titrated to fit with their personal interests. They are the first to break bad news and most often, a huge percentage of the content they publish are negative, anti-people and anti-establishment. Their vehicles to create disaffection are rumours, half-truths and outright falsehood. To be contd.


Idumange John
Chairman, Bayelsa Social Media Committee


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