Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed has called for national policy to help cut excess and misuse of social media information dissemination.
During a speech delivery on the theme “The Impact of Fake News and Hate Speech on National Security in Nigeria’’, he said
“The need to act fast is made more urgent by the fact that the extremism being promoted by anti-state groups remains one of the biggest challenges to Nigeria’s national security.
“Let me quickly state that the veritable tools of choice for extremists to propagate their dangerous and subversive ideas include unrestrained propaganda, fake news and hate speech.
“These are very potent tools in the hands of extremists, whether they are secessionists, ultra-nationalists, religious extremists or even insurgents.
“Of course, Social Media is the platform of choice for these malcontents.
“It is not surprising, therefore, that the Boko Haram terrorists have resorted to the use of Social Media to propagate the ideas in their depraved minds,
He continued that China, with about 1.4 billion people, “does not allow an unbridled use of Social Media platforms like Facebook, Google or Whatsapp’’.
He also stated that the mean reason why the fight against polio is difficult is because rumors’ promoted in certain circles has it that polio vaccines were aimed at depopulating Nigerians.
We have also reached out to technology companies like Facebook and Google in order to work with them to curtail the spread of fake news and hate speech.
“This alliance came in handy in the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, when Facebook removed any fake story we are able to flag,’’ he said.
Mohammed said government also embarked on the reform of the broadcast industry, to stop the purveying of hate speech by the nation’s broadcast stations.