SCOAN: Winning battle against fake news

ONE of the biggest thrills in the emergence of a postmodernist world like ours has been the immense possibilities that the virtual world opens. The social media has gained ascendancy considering its limitless followers and borderless aspirations. The virtual world is large and keeps expanding its frontiers by every stretch of imagination. The spatial and temporal restrictions have been crumbled thereby creating a universe that seeks to be ungoverned by decency, altruism and truth. Despite the growing predilection to profanity and an impiously insatiable appetite for untruth and fake news, truth remains constantly self-validating. Fake news, and its various paraphernalia of indoctrination, has been the largest, single undoing confronting and bedeviling humanity’s progress in recent times. The apostles of fake news constantly seek to spin a yarn of untruths with the disreputably disingenuous goal of deceit. Man’s feeble mind usually cringes when its fickleness is confronted by divine illumination, and manifestation of God’s unrivalled supremacy.

Today, sadly and truthfully so, founder and senior cleric of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Prophet Temitope Joshua, considering his track record of prophetic integrity, healing ministry and the repeated validation of God’s presence in his life and ministry, has been under constant and unyielding attacks by the purveyors of fake news. Yet, the man in the synagogue has remained undaunted by the iniquitous ambitions of these detractors and their proselytes.  Unfortunately, and miserably so, some of the prime sponsors of these malicious and fiendishly absurd errands (of fake news) are self-acclaimed ‘clerics’ unknown in God’s noble courtyard of distinguished generals where Prophet Joshua’s recognition has never been in doubt. Since he came into prominence, the world over, Prophet Joshua’s mission of building lives and blessing nations remains at the core of God’s approval and admiration.  The latest in the vitriol of these minders of the devil’s crumbling estate was that the respected cleric had predicted that Orji Kalu would be Nigeria’s president in 2023. This piece of fake news like others only seeks to discredit the impeccable track record of God’s grace in the life and ministry of his beloved. It will be recalled a few years ago how a Zimbabwean media claimed that the revered cleric had predicted that three of their prominent preachers would die. According to reports, the transcript of the message was published by state-owned Herald newspaper in Zimbabwe. Prophet Joshua was maliciously quoted to have said, “I saw in a vision a flag, the Lord said that’s the flag of Zimbabwe. In the vision behold there were three trees, but of the three trees only one had roots, the other two were standing, but had no roots. The three trees represent the three well known prophets in that nation, one who has already fallen and the other about to fall harder than the first.”

But speaking through his verified platforms, Prophet Joshua said he did not make such pronouncements because he was not given such a prophecy by God. According to him, “Good morning, people of Zimbabwe. Our attention has been drawn to false rumours spread by the father of lies which are currently being circulated around Zimbabwe. The reward of liars is destruction.“We hereby curse, in the name of Jesus, whoever is spreading these rumours. Prophet T.B. Joshua can NEVER and he will NEVER give such a message because our God is not the God of confusion. We should be very careful not to touch an anointed man of God and lie against him. The Bible says in John 8:44 that satan is ‘the father of lies’. Don’t listen to the father of lies, the sons of lies and the daughters of lies. Do not sit somewhere, hear this or that and come to a hasty conclusion. God requires that we find out the truth from Him first and hold fast to that which is true, as the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:21.”

Fake news has transformed into a pandemic, with sponsors and unsuspecting followers, pushing to smash the boulders of truth. Fake news is false or misleading information passed across as news. It often has the aim or intent of damaging the reputation of a person or entity. It is clear that the minders of such news on Prophet Joshua have the singular target of discrediting his reputation and that of SCOAN.  Nolan Higdon, a media scholar, in her assessment of fake news, describes fake news as “false or misleading content presented as news and communicated in formats spanning spoken, written, printed, electronic, and digital communication.” While it was seen in print, the prevalence of fake news has increased with the rise of social media. Political polarisation, post-truth politics, confirmation bias, and social media algorithms have been implicated in the spread of fake news. It is sometimes generated and propagated by hostile foreign or local actors. The use of anonymously-hosted fake news websites has made it difficult to prosecute sources of fake news for libel. In some definitions, fake news includes satirical articles misinterpreted as genuine, and articles that employ sensationalist or clickbait headlines that are not supported in the text.

On March 7, 2017, the Information Society Project at Yale Law School and the Floyd Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression hosted a workshop intended to explore the ongoing efforts to define fake news and discuss the viability and desirability of possible solutions. Participants determined that the most salient danger associated with “fake news” is the fact that it devalues and delegitimises voices of expertise, authoritative institutions, and the concept of objective data—all of which undermines society’s ability to engage in rational discourse based upon shared facts. God is truth. God is light. He dwells and manifests himself within these realities. Truth has remained eternally sacred and its self-authenticating attribute cannot be jettisoned.

  • Oyetimi writes in via joyetimi2002@gmail.com

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