Is Facebook letting Nigeria’s Army determine the truth?
Good morning. In Nigeria, security forces have unleashed a terrifying chain of violence that has claimed lives. The dead aren’t mere numbers or footnotes in the reign of terror from a gruesome government. They are real people- sons, daughters, wives, husbands…
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If you’re on Twitter, odds are, you would have seen some of the gory images and videos from Nigeria. Some of the videos show soldiers shooting at unarmed protesters as well as policemen killing people on the streets.
The videos have caught the attention of the international community and media. Hillary Clinton, Nicki Minaj and Joe Biden have tweeted in support of Nigeria’s #EndSARS protests and have asked the government to stop killing its people.
What’s happening on social media platforms?
While the #EndSARS has its own special icon on Twitter, if you’re on Instagram or Facebook, there’s
very little sign of the mayhem happening in Nigeria.
How? Many people who tried to post pictures and videos of the Lekki toll gate shooting or victims on Instagram had their posts removed for being fake.
The Nigerian Army’s propaganda campaign
On October 20, the Army announced a nationwide exercise tagged “Crocodile Smile VI”
On October 20, at around 6pm (WAT), Nigerian Army personnel are seen in various videos shooting at unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate
A Nigerian DJ, DJ Switch, captured the events of the night of October 20 on her Instagram Live Channel
On October 21, the Nigerian Army said none of its men were present at Lekki toll gate, despite video evidence
The Lagos state governor also wrongly stated in a broadcast on
October 21, that there were no fatalities from the incident
“The Exercise is deliberately intended to be all encompassing to include cyber warfare exercises designed to identify, track and counter negative propaganda in the social media and across the cyberspace.”
Thanks to this campaign, the Nigerian Army is now claiming that verified videos and photos of soldiers shooting at unarmed protesters are fake.
It is easy to infer that it is based on the Army’s propaganda campaign that Facebook is deciding what the truth is.
Will Facebook come down on the wrong side of history again?
While Twitter has been proactive with calling attention to Nigeria’s #EndSARS protests, Facebook seems to be content with looking the other way.
It is a curious decision from Facebook, given that the company has been here before. Two years ago, Facebook’s refusal to act as Myanmar military personnel flooded their platform with hate speech led to a
It is making the same mistake again, by allowing Nigeria’s military sources who are guilty of crimes against humanity to determine what the truth is.