Home Community Insights We Will Not Allow Any Platform to Plunge The Country Into Chaos – Nigerian Government Warns

We Will Not Allow Any Platform to Plunge The Country Into Chaos – Nigerian Government Warns

We Will Not Allow Any Platform to Plunge The Country Into Chaos – Nigerian Government Warns

Due to the surge of fake news spread across different social media platforms, the federal government of Nigeria has warned that news is properly scrutinized before it is permitted on any platform to avoid plunging the country into chaos.

The FG disclosed that it is currently keeping tabs on micro-blogging platform Twitter, following the takeover of the company by Elon Musk who last two months acquired it for $44 billion.

The government stated that it is closely watching the platform due to the change in its ownership to ensure that it doesn’t promote any fake news that could cause anarchy in the country.

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This was disclosed by Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Hon. Lai Mohammed, while speaking at the 3rd edition of the ministerial media briefing in Abuja, which also had in attendance Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika.

While speaking at the media briefing, Hon. Lai Mohammed said, “Many have called to ask us what will become of our agreement with Twitter in view of the change in its ownership.

“Many have asked for our reaction following reports that there has been a spike in fake news, disinformation, and hate speech since the micro-blogging site changed ownership.

“Many have even asked us if another ban is in the offing? Let me say this, We are closely monitoring the evolving developments at Twitter. It has never been our intention to ban any social media platform or stifle free speech. Not at all.

“What happened in the case of Twitter is well known to all. Twitter became a platform of choice for those who want to destabilize Nigeria, using fake news, disinformation, and hate speech.

“No nation will allow any social media platform to plunge it into anarchy. Definitely not Nigeria. But we have continued to engage positively with the different social media platforms, including Facebook, Google (owners of YouTube), and Twitter.”

The minister further disclosed that the government has no intention of banning any social media platform, however, it will not fail to swing into action against any platform that violates its laws.

Recall that the federal government in June 2021, suspended Twitter for a period of seven months, lifting the suspension on the 13th of January 2022.

According to the FG, the suspension was necessitated due to the fact that Twitter failed to scrutinize fake news spread on its platform which caused a lot of chaos in the country.

However, a vast majority of Nigerians had a different opinion for FG’s suspension of Twitter, stating that it was done after the platform deleted a Tweet made by President Muhammadu Buhari, where he said, “Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Biafra war. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.”

Several of these users stated that they reported the tweet for inciting violence in the predominantly ethnically Igbo region.

In a response to Twitter’s action for taking down President Buhari’s Tweet, Nigeria’s information minister Hon. Lai Mohammed said, “Twitter may have its own rules, it’s not the universal rule. If Mr. President anywhere in the world feels very bad and concerned about a situation, he is free to express such views.”

With Musk’s takeover of Twitter and his promise to champion free speech, which has alarmed rights groups and researchers who fear that Twitter could become a platform for extremist views and hate speech, the Nigerian government has disclosed that it will watch the platform closely in case of any irregularities.

It is however pertinent to note that on November 5, 2019, the FG presented an Anti-social Media Bill law to the senate, to criminalize the use of social media in peddling false or malicious information.

The original title of the bill is Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations Bill 2019.

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