The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has reiterated the position of the federal government that social media should be regulated.
Muhammed, who was represented by Mrs. Memunat Idu-Lah, Director , International Cultural Relations, Mohammed also stated that the federal government’s resolve to regulate the social media was not designed to hamper freedom of expression or gag public discourse as being alleged.
However, he explained and said rather, it was to prevent the abuse of social media and its negative consequences that the government was regulating the platform.
The Minister who made the statement at the Annual Roundtable on Cultural Orientation (ARTCO) in Owerri, the Imo state capital, maintained that the phenomenon of hate speech, fake news and other forms of criminality which feature regularly on the social media have the potential to harm the nation’s security, national unity and our overall national interest.
Furthermore, Senate Committee Chairman on Culture and Tourism, Senator Rochas Okorocha, who was represented by his legislative assistant, Hon. Ikenna Emeh, also backed the call for the regulation of the social media.
Okorocha, however, warned that the regulation must be approached with caution so as not to be counter-productive.
In his statement, he therefore urged the federal government to carefully make a distinction between the fight against hate speech and the regulation of social media and determine the right approach to redressing each of the malaise, instead of treating both as the same, Okoracha said.