Nigerians react to DUBAWA’s deepfake video fact-check as Charly Boy deletes post

Not all Nigerians took the truth in its strides since DUBAWA fact-checked the viral deepfake video used to promote the candidature of Peter Obi, the Labour party flag bearer for the [February 25] 2023 presidential election.

The deepfake video showed international entertainers holding a placard with the inscription, “Yes, it makes sense to vote for Peter Obi in 2023.” The list includes Idris Elba, Terry Crews, 50 Cent, and Tom Cruise.

Screenshot of the viral video

Charly Boy deletes the video before publication

Charles Oputa, a veteran singer, had previously posted the video on his verified Twitter handle with the caption, “Impressive. Peter Obi’s campaign has taken on a global outlook with leading American TV and Hollywood actors driving the campaign.”

Screenshot of Charly Boy’s tweet.

However, he deleted the video after his followers reacted to it. This happened while the publication was under editing. The last record DUBAWA obtained of its reach was more than 247,000 views, 14,800 reactions, 7,082 retweets, and 1,222 comments.

Screenshot of Charly Boy’s deleted tweet.

Screenshot of Charly Boy’s deleted tweet.

But he left a word for trolls who failed to make constructive criticism regarding the video and Nigeria’s political situation generally.

But Asukwo had different thoughts…

Mike Asukwo, a veteran cartoonist, also shared the video on his verified Facebook handle. He wrote, “I just want to be proud of my country again.” The video currently has grown from 5,600 views to 6,900, 180 comments and 549 reactions. Previously at 197 shares, it has increased to 214.

When he was informed about the fact-check, he disclosed that he was aware of the video’s inauthenticity, but felt there was no need to fact-check.

He replied, “I didn’t share it for you to believe it. I shared it like I would share a movie clip or a piece of art. There was no need to fact-check because I already knew it was not real.”

Screenshot of Asukwo’s comment.

Some of Mr Asukwo’s followers left vile comments for this reporter.

Screenshot of Obiora’s comment.

Screenshot of Obiora’s comment.

“Fake news has more effects if it is coming from journalists,” says Caleb Ijioma, the Executive Director of Roundcheck, a fact-checking media organisation in Africa. 

Mr Ijioma further broke down the effects on media content consumers who may not know how to identify misinformation.

He said, “People tend to lose trust in the media. We have quite a number of people who are not media literate. They digest and accept information that aligns with their bias.

“Even journalists with different biases misinform the public because they are blinded by their bias and do not make an extra effort to check the authenticity of the information received.”

“The implication is that they will be fed with untrue information that influences their decisions. Because they are not media literate, they don’t know how to source information.”

“They accept whatever information they receive, especially as it aligns with their bias. It proves difficult to later convince them that the information is false, especially if it has spread to local communities,” he added.

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