Claim: Due to abuse, the Guinness World Records (GWR) has banned Nigerians from attempting to break world records.
Verdict: Although the GWR cautioned Nigerians who wanted to break a record, it only advised them to get approval before embarking on the journey. No ban was placed. The claim is misleading.
Following the record-breaking attempt of Hilda Baci and the “a-thon syndrome” that accompanied it, Campus Catch Nigeria, a Facebook blog, announced that the Guinness World Records (GWR) has placed a ban on Nigerians, restricting their participation in further record-breaking attempts.
“Breaking: Guinness bans Nigeria for record abuse. See where our oversabi has landed us,” the blog wrote.
While the majority in the comment section supported the alleged decision of the GWR, there were minorities who not only expressed disbelief but also demanded proof.
For instance, Angela Ngozichukwu directly questioned the authenticity of the shared news.
“Where did you get this false information,” she asked.
“This one is a big lie,” Destiny Paul, another user, concluded.
There were also other users like Dee El-kaigama who shared the perception of Ms Ngozichukwu and Mr Paul’s.
Since the blogger did not provide proof and, considering the large engagement generated by the claim, DUBAWA decided to fact-check it.
The Guinness World Records is well known in Nigeria as its activities have made headlines, especially during Chef Baci’s and others’ attempts. For this reason, we made some keyword searches on Google to see if the new development has made the news.
Our findings showed it to be largely inaccurate. Overwhelmed by the numerous record-a-thons by Nigerians, the GWR, in July 2023, cautioned a Nigerian on X (formerly known as Twitter).
The Nigerian with the username @livingwithajoke had reportedly tweeted her intentions to make a record-breaking attempt. In response, Guinness World Records, with the handle @GWH replied to her with, “Please Enough with the record-a-thons.”
However, the verifying organisation further advised Nigerians attempting to break any record to first get approval from its team before embarking on such.
“We love the record-a-thon enthusiasm, but we would suggest getting a record title approved by our team before attempting these marathon records,” it wrote in further tweets.
Using Twitter commands, DUBAWA tried to find the original tweets where the GWR gave the initial warning but could not, as it seemed to have been deleted by DHW. We, however, found the ones where the organisation encouraged Nigerians not to stop applying. Those are seen here and here.
Although the GWR was overwhelmed by Nigerians’ record-a-thons attempts, it only advised them to get approval before embarking on any. The claim is misleading.