social media

Facebook’s Fake News Fighters Punish Italian Satirical Website

A popular satire website in Italy found out what happens when Facebook loses its sense of humor: they see fake news everywhere.
 
Publishing under the slogan “The filth that makes the news”, Lercio is a fabled multi-award-winning website of satirical news in Italy. 
 
In its early days, some of Lercio’s stories were taken as truth and shared by the mainstream press. However, soon the name Lercio (Italian for “dirt”) appearing alongside as the source of the news became a renowned synonym of virulent satire, to the point that nowadays the expression “Is this Lercio?” has become common use amongst Italians whenever they read or view any scarcely credible news in the mainstream media.
 
But what happens when satire lampooning people or institutions fails to be perceived as such, even by the social media and ends up being treated as misleading “fake news”? More importantly, how exactly do social media draw a distinction between pungent satire and mere trolling?

Embattled Nigerian Senate Faces Stiff Opposition Over Anti-Free Speech Bill

Since its inauguration June 2015, the Senate, the upper legislative chamber of Nigeria’s National Assembly, has been wading through a series of controversies ranging from bogus salaries and allowances, corruption allegations, underperformance, to most recently an anti-people legislative proposal initiated by senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah who has a rather evasive background.
 
Organizations and individuals including the Nigeria Union of Journalists, civil society groups and civil rights activists, and other well meaning Nigerians, continued to condemn plans of the Nigerian lawmakers to adopt a law that is likely to bludgeon freedom of speech in the country. The proposed bill is laughably named“Act to Prohibit Frivolous Petitions and Other Matters Connected Therewith”. The protest reached its climax on 8 December 2015 when human rights and social media activists marched to the National Assembly in Abuja in a rally tagged #NoToSocialMediaBill.