The Federal Government (FG) has disclosed it is looking to inject sanity into the social media to restore a sense of control.
|Lai Mohammed, Nigeria's information minister|
This was disclosed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. He was speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday in Abuja.
The minister lamented that the social media space has gone totally out of control.
“Gentlemen, since we inaugurated our reform of the broadcast industry, many Nigerians have reached out to us; demanding that we also look into how to sanitize the social media space.
“I can assure you that we are also working on how to inject sanity into the social media space which, today, is totally out of control
“No responsible government will sit by and allow fake news and hate speech to dominate its media space; because of the capacity of this menace to exploit our national fault lines to set us against each other and trigger a national conflagration. That is why we will continue to evolve ways to tackle fake news and hate speech until we banish both.”
Meanwhile, Mohammed solicited the support of the media to banish fake news and hate speech from the media space.
He recalled that the FG had on July 2018 inaugurated a national campaign against fake news and hate speech. Further, Muhammed had taken the campaign to the doorsteps of many media houses.
Mohammed said though, the campaign had brought discussions on the menace to the front burner; fake news and hate speech had been going worse.
Additionally, Mohammed emphasised that the FG, in sanitizing the social media, would not muzzle the media and stifle free speech.
“This administration has no intention of muzzling the media or stifling free speech. Our campaign is against fake news and hate speech. However, if you engage in disseminating fake news or hate speech, you need to be worried, because we will not spare you.
“We cannot allow fake news and hate speech to become free speech; because these Siamese Twins of Evil are capable of inflicting untold damage on our democracy and threatening our national unity. They represent a clear and imminent danger to our survival as a nation,’’ he said
Furthermore, Mohammed decried the unprofessional and unethical conduct of some broadcast stations; especially before and during the last general elections.
“I set up committee on the implementation of the recommendations that were approved by the FG and Mr President to inject sanity into the nation’s broadcast industry,’’ he said.
Mohammed highlighted the terms of reference of the committee to include independence of the NBC from political interference; particularly with respect to the issuance and withdrawal of broadcasting license.