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No Criticism Will Stop The Government From Regulating Social Media, Lai Mohammed

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed says the government won’t stop regulating the social media despite criticism from Nigerians.

Mohammed disclosed this at a meeting with online-news Publishers on Thursday in Abuja.

Lai Mohammed
Lai Mohammed

The social media has been agog with the news of government’s plans to control social media.

However, the Minister defended the government, saying it did not intend to impair free speech as alleged

Mohammed told the group of journalists that the regulation was necessary due to the danger it poses

The minister said that if social media was not controlled, fake news might set the nation on fire.

“In the first instance, we have not told anyone how we plan to go about the regulation. This is because this will not be a unilateral process. It will involve all stakeholders coming together to chart the path forward,” he said.

“Let me announce here that we have just kick-started the process. We have dispatched letters inviting representatives of the media, civil society, technology and security experts, online publishers, bloggers, relevant agencies of government, etc, for this purpose.

“In the second instance, there are many options open to us in regulating the social media. Apart from enacting new laws, we can also leverage on technology, working with the big techies like Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram to check the spread of fake news and hate speech. It is therefore premature for anyone to say ‘Oh, there are enough laws already to deal with social media deviants’. In essence, the committee we plan to set up will determine the best option for us to use.

“Finally, and for the avoidance of doubt, while we welcome a robust debate on this issue, the criticisms in certain quarters will not stop us from going ahead with our efforts to sanitize the social media space. It is the right thing to do in the circumstances.”

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