Thank you distinguished people for the feedback to the first edition of this series.

I addressed the BEAST of fake news and the gullibility of the mass of our people.

I think I want to address that BEAST again today with a view to exorcising same. Why? The BEAST of fake news to a populace, whose majority lacks the capacity to process information kills faster than the COVID-19.

We need the stability of our mind to deal with every issue of this life. As I argued yesterday our responses today is a manifestation of our preparation yesterday.

It is my well considered principle by which I changed my life that what you hear and see determines what you think, what you think determines what you believe, what you believe becomes the pillars of your value system, your value system are manifested in your habits, your habits attract your relationships, your relationships determine your reward in life and your reward determines your significance.

The book that I read says that transformation happens through the renewing of our minds. If transformation happens by the renewing of our minds, it goes without saying that retrogression and stagnation happen by the clogging our minds with false or hopeless information. According to Olakunle SORIYAN, ‘the purpose of knowledge is transformation.’ I interpret that to mean that whatever information that does not move us towards positive actions is nothing but corrosive gossip.

I guess that is why the World Health Organisation, has advised us to be careful how we listen to news at this time.

There has never been a time when I have been tempted with deleting my Whatsapp account or quit all groups like this time.

The BEAST of misinformation and hopeless information is wildly on the loose, with its honed fangs of destruction driving the majority of our people to the point of fear, anxiety and the deadly precipice of paranoia. This

Here is my counsel on how to handle information:

1. What is the source? There is always an authorized source for any information. For example the National Center for Disease Control and WHO are the leading authorised sources of information on this COVID-19 pandemic. We can trangulate whatever information we receive from them with established news outfits, whose reputation has stood the test of time. The credibility of a material cannot emanate from one of the commonest but very lame phrase, ‘forwarded as received.’

2. We must understand that with the advent of the new media, the channels available for the dissemination of information has been taken overdemocratized. Dissemination of information has been taken from institutions and it is now hands of individuals, who enjoy the tyranny of registering their thoughts in the public domain at the speed of conception.

The institutional media had an editorial board, which determines what is published according to the dictates of the editorial policy. It is the rule of thumb in media practice that you do not go to town with one-sided or an unverified story, no matter how sensational.

Now that everyone has become media owner by virtue of access to electronic divices and data, the capacity for those who pass information to deliberately or mistakenly pass error has increased exponentially. This is the age when conspiracy theorists smile to the bank.

The solution to overdemocratized media platforms is the personal value of the disseminator to an oath of truth but again between mischief and economics, that seems to be lost.

It therefore seems to me that we must develop the capacity to process every  information before we stamp it with the credibility of our belief and allow same to determine our next line of action.

I guess this conversation will continue on Monday as I take a look at what I consider as another BEAST in the room.

I remain your Dearly Beloved Roving Public Interest Lawyer, Taiwo AKINLAMI

(C) 2020 Taiwo AKINLAMI

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