The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has said that social media regulation will have to go through due process in the National Assembly.
There have been calls to regulate social media, as the Federal Government blames the internet for spreading fake news during the #EndSARS protests.
The Minister disclosed this on Monday Afternoon in an interview with Channels TV.
What you should know
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, last week said the Federal Government has no plans of shutting down social media but must regulate it to prevent the spread of hate speech.
“They (#EndSARS protesters) mobilized using social media. The war today revolves around two things. Smartphones and data and these young men don’t even watch television or listen to the radio or read newspapers.
“We are sitting on a time bomb regarding this issue of fake news. Unfortunately, we have no national policy on social media and we need one,” Lai Mohammed said.
The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata, said the Federal Government’s plan to introduce regulation of social media after the #EndSARS protests are suspicious, as the social media space is already regulated.
The Youth Minister on Monday said the #EndSARS protests revealed the dangers of social media, citing Soyinka’s claims about the dangers of fake news.
“The protests brought home the dangers of fake news. Several months back, Nobel Laureate Winner, Professor Wole Soyinka, said fake news is like the bomb that can destroy the world and it is sure that the bomb will come from Nigeria,” he said.
“What happened during the protests has been reviewed to a certain extent. We have seen debunking of several of the stories of deaths that came up.
“Everyone is worried about the negative impacts of fake news,” he said.
He added that if a regulation happens, it would have to pass through the due process at the National Assembly.
“The talk around regulation, of course, we have a National Assembly, it will have to go through the normal process. We have a constitution, they will have to make sure it does not violate certain provisions of the constitution that has to do with freedom of expression.
“Where you have fake news destroying lives, the government has a responsibility to make sure that there is a level of control. It is not censorship but some level of control,” Mr. Dare concluded.