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  • I want to tell you a story about a girl.

  • But I can't tell you her real name.

  • So let's just call her Hadiza.

  • Hadiza is 20.

  • She's shy,

  • but she has a beautiful smile that lights up her face.

  • But she's in constant pain.

  • And she will likely be on medication for the rest of her life.

  • Do you want to know why?

  • Hadiza is a Chibok girl,

  • and on April 14, 2014, she was kidnapped

  • by Boko Haram terrorists.

  • She managed to escape, though,

  • by jumping off the truck that was carrying the girls.

  • But when she landed, she broke both her legs,

  • and she had to crawl on her tummy to hide in the bushes.

  • She told me she was terrified that Boko Haram would come back for her.

  • She was one of 57 girls who would escape by jumping off trucks that day.

  • This story, quite rightly, caused ripples

  • around the world.

  • People like Michelle Obama, Malala and others

  • lent their voices in protest,

  • and at about the same time -- I was living in London at the time --

  • I was sent from London to Abuja to cover the World Economic Forum

  • that Nigeria was hosting for the first time.

  • But when we arrived, it was clear that there was only one story in town.

  • We put the government under pressure.

  • We asked tough questions about what they were doing

  • to bring these girls back.

  • Understandably,

  • they weren't too happy with our line of questioning,

  • and let's just say we received our fair share of "alternative facts."

  • (Laughter)

  • Influential Nigerians were telling us at the time

  • that we were naïve,

  • we didn't understand the political situation in Nigeria.

  • But they also told us

  • that the story of the Chibok girls

  • was a hoax.

  • Sadly, this hoax narrative has persisted,

  • and there are still people in Nigeria today

  • who believe that the Chibok girls were never kidnapped.

  • Yet I was talking to people like these --

  • devastated parents,

  • who told us that on the day Boko Haram kidnapped their daughters,

  • they ran into the Sambisa Forest after the trucks carrying their daughters.

  • They were armed with machetes, but they were forced to turn back

  • because Boko Haram had guns.

  • For two years, inevitably, the news agenda moved on,

  • and for two years,

  • we didn't hear much about the Chibok girls.

  • Everyone presumed they were dead.

  • But in April last year,

  • I was able to obtain this video.

  • This is a still from the video

  • that Boko Haram filmed as a proof of life,

  • and through a source, I obtained this video.

  • But before I could publish it,

  • I had to travel to the northeast of Nigeria

  • to talk to the parents, to verify it.

  • I didn't have to wait too long for confirmation.

  • One of the mothers, when she watched the video, told me

  • that if she could have reached into the laptop

  • and pulled our her child from the laptop,

  • she would have done so.

  • For those of you who are parents, like myself, in the audience,

  • you can only imagine the anguish

  • that that mother felt.

  • This video would go on to kick-start negotiation talks with Boko Haram.

  • And a Nigerian senator told me that because of this video

  • they entered into those talks,

  • because they had long presumed that the Chibok girls were dead.

  • Twenty-one girls were freed in October last year.

  • Sadly, nearly 200 of them still remain missing.

  • I must confess that I have not been a dispassionate observer

  • covering this story.

  • I am furious when I think about the wasted opportunities

  • to rescue these girls.

  • I am furious when I think about what the parents have told me,

  • that if these were daughters of the rich and the powerful,

  • they would have been found much earlier.

  • And I am furious

  • that the hoax narrative,

  • I firmly believe,

  • caused a delay;

  • it was part of the reason for the delay in their return.

  • This illustrates to me the deadly danger of fake news.

  • So what can we do about it?

  • There are some very smart people,

  • smart engineers at Google and Facebook,

  • who are trying to use technology to stop the spread of fake news.

  • But beyond that, I think everybody here -- you and I --

  • we have a role to play in that.

  • We are the ones who share the content.

  • We are the ones who share the stories online.

  • In this day and age, we're all publishers,

  • and we have responsibility.

  • In my job as a journalist,

  • I check, I verify.

  • I trust my gut, but I ask tough questions.

  • Why is this person telling me this story?

  • What do they have to gain by sharing this information?

  • Do they have a hidden agenda?

  • I really believe that we must all start to ask tougher questions

  • of information that we discover online.

  • Research shows that some of us don't even read beyond headlines

  • before we share stories.

  • Who here has done that?

  • I know I have.

  • But what if

  • we stopped taking information that we discover at face value?

  • What if we stop to think about the consequence

  • of the information that we pass on

  • and its potential to incite violence or hatred?

  • What if we stop to think about the real-life consequences

  • of the information that we share?

  • Thank you very much for listening.

  • (Applause)

I want to tell you a story about a girl.

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B1 US TED haram boko boko haram nigeria hoax

【TED】Stephanie Busari: How fake news does real harm (How fake news does real harm | Stephanie Busari)

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    Zenn posted on 2017/05/18
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