We will not allow online platforms to plunge Nigeria into crisis–FG

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By Rotimi Ijikanmi
The Federal Government says it will not allow any social media platform to plunge Nigeria into crisis.

Information and Culture Minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed said so Thursday in Abuja during the third edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration (PMB) Scorecard 2015-2023.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the PMB Scorecard initiative is being organized by the Ministry of Information and Culture to showcase the achievements of the administration over the past seven years.

The third edition featured the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who unveiled the achievements recorded by his ministry.

In his opening remarks, Mohammed said the warning to social media platforms had become imperative due to the surge in fake news and misinformation following the change in ownership of a micro-blogging site, Twitter.

“Let me quickly touch on an issue that has been getting a lot of media inquiries lately.

“Many of your colleagues have called us to ask what will happen to our deal with Twitter given the change in ownership.

“Many have asked for our reaction following reports that there has been a spike in fake news, misinformation and hate speech since the microblogging site changed ownership.

“Many have even asked us if another ban is in sight. Let me say this: we are closely monitoring developments on Twitter.

“We never intended to ban any social media platform or stifle free speech. Not at all.

“But we will also not sit idly by and allow any platform whatsoever to plunge our country into crisis,” he said.

The minister recalled how the federal government suspended Twitter’s operations in the country in June last year for allegedly allowing its platform to be used by those who wanted to destabilize the country.

NAN reports that the suspension was however lifted in January this year after Twitter agreed to regulate its posts, pay an applicable tax and establish a legal entity in the country, among other conditions.

“What happened in the case of Twitter is well known to everyone.

“Twitter has become a go-to platform for those who want to destabilize Nigeria using fake news, disinformation and hate speech.

“No nation will allow a social media platform to plunge it into anarchy. Certainly not Nigeria.

“But we continued to engage positively with the various social media platforms, including Facebook, Google (owners of YouTube) and Twitter.

“We have no intention of banning any social media platform again,” he said.

In the series of scorecards, the Minister said the Ministry of Aviation has made tremendous progress since its inception. (NOPE)
Edited by Mufutau Ojo

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