Members of the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, cautioned the Federal Government against a restriction on social media. Honourable Odebunmi Olusegun and Honourable Emmanuel Oghene announced the notice when the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, came for the 2021 economical defense. on this post we, will talk about how federal government considers regulating social media.
The minister during his speech, stated that although the social media had come to stay, but there is need for the country to have a rule that will control & check false information and misrepresentation. Mentioning false update and information as the main problem facing the country, Mohammed stated that the country needed a national rule on social media to regulate what can be seen and what will not be seen.
“We stated formerly that the next war will be fought without a shot being fired, but with the use of fake news. We didn’t stop there. We embarked on a trip of media houses to ask for their assistance in the fight against false news. We hurled the movement to control it which was severely disputed by the stakeholders.
“In 2017, a well-known performer in Nigeria created an untrue alarm that students of the College of Education Gidan Waya Kaduna State had been killed. There was nearly a punishment only for him to discover that it was false.
In the same 2017, we discovered that some of the videos being uploaded are things that occurred in other parts of the world. When there was a dispute amongst South Africans and Nigerians, they uploaded tapes of what occurred in India and Tanzania to put forward that Nigerians were being burnt alive. That was what led to shutting down the malls.”
“We are positioned on a time bomb on the aspect of false information. We have no national rule so we need one. When we travelled to China, we could not access Google, Facebook, and Instagram. You cannot access your email in China because they made sure it is censored and well controlled.
Read Also: how to begin bed spread business in nigeria
Federal Government Considers Regulating Social Media
“In June this year, there was an uprising in Ethiopia when a well-known artiste was murdered. What the government did was to close down social media for 2 days to restore that uprising under control. We need knowledge and incomes to control our social media. We need a policies to regulate what can be visible and what cannot.
“The current #EndSARS war was done and organized using social media. The war today rotates round 2 things smartphones and data and these young men don’t even watch television, listen to the radio or read papers. We want the technology to be able to control the social media.
Odebunmi, on the other hand, advised against limiting the usage of the social media, as he stated that “Social media has come to stay therefore the government should search for technology that will work collectively with what is in the space. We are not requesting the administration to end it but the vital thing is that government should research for a way to adjust, so that you can correspondingly work in the space”.
Oghene also cautioned in contradiction of closing down the social media space in the nation, stating that it was not right to continually dwell on the bad sides of social media every time without citing the decent part.
“I want to plead that we should not do it to extremely much because it will hurt us. China is not a nice instance because it is a communist country. Nigeria has been free all the time, we are a democratic nation. Let us examine other republics and see what they have achieved with their social media & we should have sufficient rules in our law books to tackle ours. When individuals post things that are false, they can be charged to court.
“If the laws are not sufficient, get a bill and the National Assembly will license it into law. If you lock down the social media, democracy will be seriously hindered,” He stated it was social media that got the attention of government to prowling of COVID-19 substances in some places, adding that there was a time some boys were excavating the highway but were caught because the media captured the moment.