The ugly fate suffered by actors Stephen Odimgbe (Flash) and Martins Nebo (Abadnego), two prominent characters in the Globacom-sponsored television drama series, ProfessorJohnbull, in this week’s episode of the programme brings to the fore once again the negative aspects of social media.
Entitled Viral News, the edition highlights how people misuse social media, an otherwise useful platform, to spread abuse and fake news, thereby bringing pain and sorrow to their victims.
In Viral News, Olaniyi (Yomi Fash-Lanso) and Flash are objects of unsubstantiated rumours which are later found out to be false. The false news also affect their businesses and reputation negatively.
For instance, a vicious rumour circulates about the existence of poisonous fufu, a local edible, in Olaniyi’s restaurant. This leads to customers running away from his place and also refusing to patronize Patience Ozokwor, (Mama G), who is a major distributor of fufu in the episode.
Similarly, Stephen Odimbge (Flash), and Professor Johnbull’s security man, Abadnego (Martins Nebo), who both keep heavy beards, are subjected to false viral news claiming that bearded males are members of a secret society involved in money rituals.
Mai Doya (Funky Mallam), who spreads the “poisonous fufu” rumour, is presented to viewers as the naive social media user who copies and forwards any broadcast message he receives on his phone without verification, while Makachuwkwu Ilodibe is the typically educated Nigerian who indulges in rumour mongering on social media.
The edition will expose to viewers the different ways people abuse the social media platforms and how fake news and false rumours are spread within the twinkle of an eye as well as the pains it brings to victims.
Viral News shows at 6.00 p.m. on Sunday on DSTV Africa Magic Family and GOTV Channel 2, with repeat broadcast on Thursday at 9.30 p.m. on the cable TV channels and on Anambra Broadcasting Service at 8.30 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday.