NIGERIA: In collaboration with Google, the Federal Government of Nigeria (FG) is planning to regulate the excessive and provocative use of social media channels, which have recently been used to spread false information and misinform the public.
According to Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, the Federal Government wants Google to assist them in developing solutions to combat using private and unlisted YouTube channels by criminal groups and terrorist organisations.
“Channels and emails containing the names of proscribed groups and their affiliates should be prohibited on Google platforms,” Mohammed stated.
When a Google team visited him in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, the Minister stated this. And he expressed his delight that the Federal Government and Google shared the same concern about Nigerians’ responsible use of social media.
“Google is a platform of choice for the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), an imprisoned terrorist group, imploring the tech behemoth to deny them access to its platform for their acts of violence and destabilisation.”
Nigerians are among the most active social media users in the world, with over 100 million Internet users, and internet platforms such as Google, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, and WhatsApp enable Nigerians to interact, share ideas, earn a living, and participate in social and political affairs, according to Mohammed.
However, Mohammed has now suggested that unscrupulous individuals or groups also use those platforms for subversive and nefarious activities that must be monitored.
To regulate the use of social media, the FG has previously proposed a “Code of Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries.”
In turn, Google Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, Government Affairs, and Public Policy, Charles Murito, has announced the launch of a programme called “Trusted Flaggers” for citizens trained to track and engage with online content to flush out unauthorised content.
As a result, Google and the Nigerian government share the same goals, and there is an urgent need for collaboration to catch those who abuse the platform, Murito assured.
“Equiano,” a subsea cable that recently arrived in Nigeria from Portugal, is intended to improve connectivity and access to the internet while also lowering data costs to create jobs and facilitate knowledge transfer, according to Google Government Affairs and Public Policy Manager Adewolu Adene.
Adene, on the other hand, urged the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to improve the recently repatriated artefacts so that they could be shown to a wider audience via Google Arts and Culture.