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Yesterday, the Northern Governors’ Forum had a meeting in Kaduna with traditional rulers and other political office holders from the northern region. The meeting called for a major control of social media in Nigeria-the Social Media Bill.

The NGF chairman, Simon Lalong, said that social media was used to spread fake news during the recent nationwide demonstrations against police brutality and must be censored by the government.

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First of all, you would think that with everything going on in the North, these people would focus on the bigger issues they have on their hands, but no, it’s social media they want to face.

Why are these people so focused on regulating social media? Why leave the bigger issues at hand such as police brutality, economic recession, poverty, ASUU strike, etc to focus on social media? These are the questions we need to ask.

So what does the social media bill entail?

Objectives

-One objective of the bill is to prevent the transmission of false statements or declaration of facts in Nigeria.

-Another objective of the bill is to end the financing of online mediums that transmit false statements.

-Measures will be taken to detect and control inauthentic behavior and misuse of online accounts (parody accounts).

-When paid content is posted towards a political end, there will be measures to ensure the poster discloses such information.

-There will be sanctions for offenders.

Declarations

According to the bill, a law enforcement department can issue a “declaration” to offenders. And this declaration will be issued even if the “false statement” has been corrected or pulled down.

-The offender will be required to publish a “correction notice” in a specified newspaper, online location, or other printed publication of Nigeria.

-Failure to comply, a person is liable to N200,000 or 12 months’ imprisonment or both (for an individual) and five million Naira for organisations.

 

So in summary, if you post what the people in power do not like, you’ll get in trouble. 

The information above was gotten from Wikipedia, if you want to know more about the Social Media Bill, click here.

Meanwhile, also read part two of this article: Why You Shouldn’t Support The Social Media Bill.

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