There are numerous claims circulating on social media that suggest billionaire businessman, Aliko Dangote, is the ‘Owner of Nigeria’, as a result of his Wikipedia profile being suggested by the Google search algorithm whenever ‘Who is the owner of Nigeria’ is searched.
It appears that for some time now, Google’s search algorithm has been consistently promoting information that is either inaccurate or, when there is no relevant article, it displays a random profile from Wikipedia.
Still, on Thursday, some Nigerian social media users searched for “The owner of Nigeria” on Google and the search engine displayed Aliko Dangote’s profile from Wikipedia as the result, which caused misinformation and propaganda to spread on Twitter.
Many individuals took to Twitter with screenshots of the Google search result, urging others to do the same in order to confirm it. This led to many people conducting the same search and sharing the results across various social media platforms, and as a result, many people came to believe that Aliko Dangote, the wealthiest man in Africa, owns the country of Nigeria, which has a population of over 220 million people.
Popular Nigerian comedian, Helen Paul, recently posted how a Google search showed that Dangote is the owner of Nigeria.
Taking to her official Instagram page, the media personality posted a screenshot of a Google search asking who owns the country.
The comedian did not seem to be laughing as she explained her observations about ‘the owner’ of Nigeria. She wrote: “Who is the owner of Nigeria on Google? “The owner doesn’t post much on the social media. The owner is always giving us gentle smile. The owner does not drag on social media. The owner doesn’t post family & friends on social media. Oh….. What A owner.”
But there is no legal or constitutional basis for the claim that Aliko Dangote is the owner of Nigeria.
LEADERSHIP conducted the same search for ‘Who is the owner of Nigeria’ on Google and the search result showed Aliko Dangote.
However, the same search was also conducted for other countries and the results showed the billionaire of each country being listed as the owner of that country. This was even the case for China, where Jack Ma was shown as the owner of China.
The reason for this misinformation is not far-fetched. The problem is Google algorithm error.
One of the key benefits of ChatGPT, the AI bot, is that it can provide accurate and reliable information. In this case, it would inform you that Aliko Dangote is not the owner of Nigeria. In contrast, Google search algorithm may suggest an answer even if it is based on false or misleading information.
This is not the first instance where Google’s search algorithm has spread false information. In the past, there were similar errors such as when it suggested that Agbani Darego was the ugliest Nigerian woman.
These incidents occurred because Google is simply a search engine that displays articles that have already been written on the internet. When it cannot find a relevant article for a specific query, it often displays random names from Wikipedia.
It is important to note that the information being spread on social media, claiming that Aliko Dangote is the owner of Nigeria, is false. Nigeria is a sovereign nation, governed by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, with a President as the Head of State and government. The president is elected by the people through a democratic process. Dangote is a successful businessman, but he does not own the country. The Google search algorithm result that suggests his Wikipedia profile as “the owner of Nigeria” is misleading, because the platform only gives you what has been published on the internet, and once it can’t find relevant information, it displays random names from Wikipedia.