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By Fatima Salisu Shehu

It is easy today to lose sight of the fact that social media actually have created some wonderful things in the world. They’ve reunited lost family members. They’ve found organ donors. I mean, there were meaningful, systemic changes happening around the world because of the platforms that were positive.

However, I think we were naive about the flip side of the coin – they are used in pretty different than how you expected. Nobody, I deeply believe, ever intended any of these aftermaths!

Is there a problem, and what’s the problem?

Tens of millions of Nigerians are hopelessly addicted to their electronic devices. It is exacerbated by the fact that you can literally isolate yourself now in a bubble, thanks to our technology !

Fake news is becoming more advanced and threatening societies around the world. It is not just fake news; it’s fake news with consequences.

The social media CEOs weren’t expecting any of this when they created their platforms over 12 years ago. Now, there’s a question about wether social media is making you depressed. Surveillance capitalism has come to shape our politics and culture in many ways people don’t perceive, as said by Prof. Yuval Noah Harari in his book: 21 Lessons for the 21st Century.

We have gone from the information age to the disinformation age. Democracy itself is under assault! What I am trying to say is, I think the tools that have been created today are starting to erode the social fabric of how society works. This is a call to arm!

Never before in history have 50 designers made decisions that would have an impact in two billion people. Two billion people will have thoughts that they didn’t intend to have because a designer at Google said, “ this is how notifications work on that screen that you wake up to in the morning.!”

Companies like Google and Facebook are some of the wealthiest and most successful of all time. They have relatively few employees. They just have this giant computer that rakes in money! What are they being paid for? That’s really an important question. For the last ten years, the biggest companies on Silicon Valley have been in the business of selling their “users”. It’s a little even trite to say now, but because we don’t pay for for the product that we use, advertisers pay for the products that we use. Advertisers are the customers. We are the thing being sold! The classic saying is: “If you are not paying for the product, you are the product.” That’s a little simplistic. It’s a gradual, slight, imperceptible change in our behavior and perception that is the product. That is the product. It is the only possible product!

A lot of people think, you know “Google is just a search box, and Facebook’s just a place to see what my friends are doing and see their photos.” But what they don’t realize is they are competing for your attention! So, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, companies like this, their business model is to keep people engaged on the screen! “Let’s figure out now how to get as much of this person’s attention as we possibly can!. How much time can we get you to spend? How much of your life can we get you to give to us?” That’s their business. They sell certainty!

In order to be successful in the business, you have to have great predictions. Great predictions begin with one imperative: you need a lot of data. This is a kind of marketplace now. It’s a marketplace that never existed before. And it’s a marketplace that trades exclusively in human futures. Just like there are marketplace that trades in oil futures, we now have markets that trades in human futures at scale.

What I want people to know is that everything they are doing online is being watched, is being tracked and is being measured. Every single action you take is carefully monitored and recorded. Exactly what image you stop and look at, for how long you look at it. They know when people are lonely. They know when people are depressed. They know what you are doing at night as long as you are online. They know the entire thing! Wether you are introvert or extrovert, or what your personality type is like. They have more information about us than has ever imagined in human history. It is unprecedented.

We have created a world in which online connection has become primary, especially for younger generations. And yet, in that world, anytime two people connect, the only way it is financed is through a sneaky third person who is paying to manipulate those two people. Ha! So, we have created an entire global generation of people who are raised within a context where the very meaning of communication, the very meaning of culture is manipulation!

If something is a tool, it genuinely is just sitting there, waiting patiently. If something is not a tool, it’s demanding something from you. It’s seducing you. It’s manipulating you. It wants things from you. And we have moved away from having a tools-based technology environment to an addiction-and manipulation- based technology environment as said by Tristan Harris. Social media isn’t a tool that is just waiting to be used. It has its own goals, and it has its own means of pursuing them by using your psychology against you.

Fatima Salisu Shehu writes from Department of Mass Communication, Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic, Bauchi.

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Atiku Calls For Speedy Declaration Of Adamawa Guber Election Result




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By Muhammad B. Muhammad

Former Vice President, Alh Atiku Abubakar has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to release Adamawa State Governorship election results unfailingly today.

Atiku who is the Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in this February Presidential election made the call during a press conference in Yola Monday.

He calls on Nigerians and International community to mount pressure on the INEC to announce what he described as the mandate expressed by the people Adamawa people.

“I’m reaching out to Nigerians and international community to put pressure on INEC to release our results in Adamawa State today unfailingly because as the more the delay, the more the tension.

“I personally spoke with the INEC Chairman last night couple of times and pleaded with him to allow the result to be announced as stipulated by law,” Atiku added.

He observed that the actions of INEC has caused serious tension in the state that has been peaceful, saying “we don’t know any violence and yet the attitude of INEC in the state least much to be desired.”

Alh Abubakar said Adamawa is a multi ethnic and multi religious state but the action of INEC was trying to destabilize the stability that has long been existed in the state.

“We thought that the processes are improving by every election but unfortunately with this election, we have not seen improvement that we expect from INEC,” he said.

He maintained that 20 out the 21 local government results were so far collated and it was only Fufore that they tried to alter the results.

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2023 Polls: Taraba Deputy Governor, Manu Commends INEC, Calls For Peace




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Taraba State Deputy Governor, Engr. Haruna Manu on Saturday commended the INEC for swiftly testifying the lapses discovered during the 25th February 2023 Presidential and National Assembly election in the state.

Manu who is also the Senator-elect representing Taraba Central, made the commendation while fielding questions from newsmen shortly after casting his vote for the governorship and state house of assembly election alongside his wife at Isa II Kofar Manu polling unit in Mutum Biyu, Gassol local government area of the state.

He said by rectifying the mistakes made during the first phase of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission in the state, Tarabans will exercise their franchise without hitches.

According to him, from the information reached him, the election generally was going on peacefully, adding that people were allowed to vote for candidates of their choice without any threat.

The Senator-elect assured his constituents of quality representation at the Red Chamber and promised to ensure that the needs they highlighted for him would be achieved during his tenure.

Engr. Haruna Manu also expressed confidence that his party the PDP will win the governorship election and the majority of the state house of assembly seats in the state.

He appealed to the people of the state to remain calm, law-abiding, and embrace one another, as well as urged them to accept the outcome of the election in good faith when INEC finally declared the winners of the governorship and state assembly seats.

Our Correspondent gathered that the elections were conducted smoothly across the sixteen LGAs of the state besides Donga LGA where hoodlums destroyed ballot boxes.

He, however, observed a low turnout of voters in some areas, while in some polling units, the turnout was higher than in the Presidential and National Assembly election that took place last month.

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2023 Polls: You Are A Liar, Taraba CAN Chairman Tells Senator Bwacha 




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Hammed Abubakar, Jalingo 

The Chairman Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Taraba State Chapter, has faulted claims by the Governorship Candidate of the APC, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, that the Chairman of the association, Rev Dr. Isaiah Magaji Jirapye apologized to him over the endorsement of Col. Agbu Kefas, PDP Governorship candidate by CAN.

Jirapye said, “it was very unfortunate for the personality of Senator Bwacha to have lied on Channels Television that I, the CAN Chairman visited him secretly and apologized over the endorsement of Col Agbu Kefas by the CAN”.

He said that all that Senator Emmanuel Bwacha said about CAN during his interview with Channels TV should be regarded as baseless, adding that the embattled APC governorship candidate is busy chasing a white goose. 

According to the CAN Chairman, “the meeting between myself and Senator Bwacha after the endorsement of Col. Agbu Kefas was for him to take the endorsement in good fate since it was a  unanimous decision by CAN, but I am surprised to hear the Senator on Channels Television lying that I went to apologize to him over the endorsement. 

Jirapye urged Senator Emmanuel Bwacha to desist from dragging CAN in his desperation to govern the State for his selfish reasons. 

“CAN position on endorsement was a unanimous decision and not that of myself the Chairman alone so I  advise desperate politicians to desist from using my name for their selfish interests”.

CAN warns desperate politicians such as Senator Bwacha whom he said lack manners but called themselves Christians, and at the same time insult their spiritual leaders at will to trade with caution. 

CAN is shocked by the kind of outburst of cancerous anger from the Senator and pray God to deliver him from such a problem, saying People of Bwacha’s character should be watched carefully and never be entrusted with Leadership positions to govern the people. 

The Chairman noted that the endorsement of the PDP governorship candidate Col. Agbu Kefas by CAN was in the best interest of the people of the State. 

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