As we have seen on multiple platforms, The President of the Republic of Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi and the head of the federal administration in Somalia, Mohamed Abdilahi “Farmajo”, met briefly in Addis Ababa on the sidelines of the AU summit. Did such a meeting take place? We can only speculate.
This article is written to talk about the need to spot the difference between what is real news and what is not real news.
Countries, corporations and individuals have taken to spreading “fake news” to further their agendas. Sorting through the minutiae of their diatribes is difficult and knowing what is real or not can be hard to determine.
Common sense and a little research can right any wrong news, but what about the more sinister, intricate conniving lies that can send panic through a society. A nation like Finland has been dealing with “fake news” and the harm it can do to their society. You see, Finland has since its independence been dealing with a powerful neighbour, Russia.
This feud has led to several wars with enormous losses for Finland. As the price they have had to pay has been so huge, a term was created to describe what they have gone through, Finlandisation. A staggering price in lives, property and resources.
Yet, today, Finland is one of the Global leaders in every category you can think of. Dealing with Finlandisation and the continuing threat of inference from neighbours, Finland set about teaching its children how to spot “fake news” on social media. It is telling that they saw the need to teach school age children to use common sense and seek instructor advice for matters that are outside the realm of their understanding. Creating a social media savvy society is a bulwark against the harmful effects of “fake news”.
Somaliland is very much in the same theatre of social media and the attempts by some to manipulate the news. We are in dangerous waters and while we are an open society with a relatively free press, and while those who wish us ill might not be as sophisticated as others, it is important for our children to spot “fake news” and it should be added to our schools curriculum.
Whether it is homemade or not, “fake news” needs to be ferreted out of society. Our security depends upon it.
Allaa Mahad Leh
Long Live Somaliland
Hassan Mohamed Abokor