Claim: In a viral WhatsApp message, it was announced that the Vice Chancellor of Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) has instructed the University’s students to prepare for exams.
The Vice Chancellor has debunked the viral WhatsApp announcement. He clarified that the alleged announcement is not true. Additionally, the headline was discovered to have been created with “Prank Mania,” a website that allows users to create and share false information. The claim is therefore false.
On the first day of April, a certain announcement appeared on WhatsApp that the Vice Chancellor of Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Prof. Abayomi Fasina, has “warned” all students of the varsity to prepare for exams.
The message was making the rounds in the form of a news story, with the headline: “Prepare ahead your exams FUOYE VC warns all students of the University.”
The announcement, coming at a period when the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is on strike has sparked reactions from some students who fear that the school would truly begin examinations immediately the strike is called off.
When one user who shared the information on WhatsApp was asked about the actual source of the information, he admitted some doubts about the accuracy of the information but confessed that he still decided to share it for fun. However, he shared a link to a similar report that neither stated the source of the information nor a direct quotation from the Vice Chancellor. Below is the conversation between Dubawa and the claimant:
April 1st is notorious for “expensive” jokes and hoaxes that sometimes mislead unsuspecting members of the public on the premise of “April fool.” On such a day, friends play pranks on each other to commemorate the month just for fun. However, if not handled with care, those jokes could become hurtful information, a more reason why DUBAWA opted to fact-check the claim in question.
A click on the link provided by the claimant took Dubawa to a website named “Prank Mania.” It is a site that permits any visitor to personally “create pranks” which can be shared on “WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.”
Among many false headlines that have been created with this tool, the claim in question quickly popped up at the top, with hyperlinked instructions that asked Dubawa to “CREATE YOUR PRANK OR SHARE THIS PRANK.”
The claim in question
Although the website warned its users not to take its contents seriously, the negative impact this has on the public may be unmeasurable. This is because social media users barely click, before believing news headlines.
To further verify this news, Dubawa contacted the Vice Chancellor of Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), Prof. Abayomi Fasina who discredited the claim.
Through Mr. Wole Balogun, his Special Adviser on Media Matters, Mr Fasina said in a telephone conversation: “It is not true. As a federal institution, it’s not possible for us to do anything when there is an ASUU strike.”
In addition to the Vice Chancellor’s debunking of the claim, the headline was created with “Prank Mania,” a site that allows users to create and share false information. The claim is therefore false.