Sunday Dare: Why FG Didn’t Shut Down Social Media During EndSARS Protests
Youth and Sports Minister Sunday Dare said the federal government had an opportunity to shut down the social media space during the #EndSARS protests, but chose not to go that route.
Dare, who spoke Monday during Channel Television’s Sunrise Daily presentation, said the government did so in order to ensure freedom of speech.
He said other countries have taken some steps to limit cyberspace, but Nigeria has not.
However, the minister said that the Internet and social media have huge advantages, but “as a country, we need to start thinking about how to limit the amount of fake news. There must be a certain level of responsibility and a certain level of punishment for those who create chaos because of the evil in our country. “
He said the fact that Nigerian youths have used social media to spearhead the recent #EndSARS protests against police brutality is commendable, insisting that cyberspace must be regulated.
Dair said: “The fact that our youth used this to mobilize is commendable. But talk of regulating social media has been going on for a long time. We saw how other countries are taking concrete steps in this direction, but our country did not.
“Even during the #EndSARS protests, the country had a choice (but) never went for this last option.
“There was no time to shut down cyberspace, people could still connect through various social media platforms. And it shows that the government is committed to the rights of freedom and association of every citizen of this country. ”
Dare said social media was being used to spread fake news that angered some people about the violence.
“The protests demonstrated the danger of fake news,” he said, adding that the National Assembly will treat the proposed rules on social media fairly to protect itself from the spread of fake news.
“The talk about regulation, of course, we have the National Assembly, it should go through a normal process. We have a constitution, we have to make sure that it does not violate some of the constitutional provisions regarding freedom of expression.
“Wherever fake news appears that takes lives, the government is obliged to provide a certain level of verification. This is not censorship, but a certain level of control, ”the minister said.
PUNCH previously reported that Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed said the country is sitting on a barrel of powder unless the problem of fake news is urgently addressed, pushing for social media regulation. in the country.
Source: – Punch ng