This Social Media Nonsense Must Stop

During the days gone past, there was an expression, “Book no lie!” Those were the days that authors go through lengths to come out with the truth.

But of course, we must remember that ugly age-old tradition of the socialists, which is, to lie and keep lying until it is believed as the truth. And in this our modern age of IT and social media, we have this socialist pandemic spreading out fast and far into society.

These days all it takes for a scammer is to reproduce a letterhead or logo of a corporate body or institution and scribble lies that will be accepted by the vulnerable public. Especially in this political season and during this period of economic hardship, many publications are out which look authentic but later turn out to be lies.

Such publications can one day lead this country into a state of confusion and conflicts.

And one such publication masterminded by social media gurus took the pains to explain to Ghanaians that the brief spell of freak harmattan was actually pollution.

There and then social media went up a step further to put up publications which named Accra as the most polluted city in the world. On that chart, credited to IQAir and dated 20/02/2023, there were two main columns, one was named Major City and the other, US AQ1.

The first two cities, Accra, Ghana (US AQ1 212) and Lahore, Pakistan (US AQ1 211) were in purple, which according to the report meant these two were in a very unhealthy condition.

The next eight cities down the line, from Delhi, India; Dhaka, Pakistan; Milano, Italy; Mumbai, India; Hanoi, Vietnam; Chengdu, China; Hong Kong, Hong Kong to Chiang Mai, Thailand recorded between US AQ1 177 to US AQ1 155, and were all in red, which according to the report meant they were in an unhealthy condition.

Now the mischiefs. IQAir is a Swiss air quality technology company, specializing in protection against airborne pollutants, developing air quality monitoring and air cleaning products. IQAir also operates Air Visual, a real-time air quality information platform. As of February 2020, it had around 500 employees worldwide, 150 of them in China, and its most important markets were Asia and North America.

Now the greatest blunder in that publication was this US AQ1, label. If the authors had put up AQI, it would have lend some credibility to their report, even though everything put up was a scam. There is a big difference between AQI and AQ1.

AQI is Air Quality Index, which is a measurement of air quality, broken down into Good, 0-50 (Green); Moderate, 51-100 (Yellow); Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 101-150 (Orange); Unhealthy 151-200 (Red); Very Unhealthy 201-300 (Purple) and Hazardous 301+ (Maroon).

The AQ1 that was used, is for AQ1 Systems, which is the world leading supplier of sensor-based feeding control technology for aquaculture.So, if that publication was true, AQ1 would not have appeared.

The question is, is Accra a city with polluted air? There is some air pollution in Accra but not to the state as is being portrayed, here. A polluted air may contain particulate matter (such as black soot) and many different gaseous chemicals such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, ozone, nitrates, sulphates, organic hydrocarbons and many others. And these things are not evident in the air in Accra. What occurred briefly over a week was just a freak of nature. It was one of those moments when nature plays fun on us by bringing in weather conditions that are out of season. For example, a rain storm in January, when it should have been dry. Snow falling in April in England and we had harmattan coming in mid-February, so what is the deal?

Air pollution is one of the leading causes of death around the world and we must do all we can to make sure it never occurs here, so we should not wish it upon ourselves. Smart air analysed 2022 air pollution data for 529 major cities from 88 countries around the world to create the 2023 updated ranking of the “25 Most Polluted Cities in the World”.

The three African cities which fell into this category were Bamako, Mali at No. 25; Kampala, Uganda at No. 23 and East London, South Africa at No.12. Accra never featured on this authentic list.

What actually happened could be said to be some freak harmattan and the Ghana Metrological Department, later explained that it was some dust blowing across the sub-region. If it were pollution, it would not have gone away after a week, and moreso, pollution builds up over a period of time.

The risk Ghana is getting into by way of falsehood making waves in social media should make everyone sit up. People could scan out a letter from the Office of the President and author anything for public consumption. Within a split of a second such false statement would make rounds across every corner of the world.

Some are also very good at voice-over as a recent video showed President Joe Biden condemning LGBTQ+ when he had only recently signed into law, the full acceptance of unnatural sex relations.

Ghana is gradually trekking down dangerous lanes and the authority must sit up and do something about fake information being pushed into the public domain through social media.

Hon. Daniel Dugan

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect The Chronicle’s stance.





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