Twitter Suspension: FG seeks law to license, regulate social and online media

Twitter Suspension: FG seeks law to license, regulate social and online media

  • The federal government is still going hard on social media on course despite criticisms from within and outside the country
  • The government is now seeking a law to regulate social and online media in Nigeria raising a few eyebrows in the country
  • Stakeholders have warned that the inclusion of private broadcasting will be dangerous to freedom of expression

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Abuja - In the wake of the suspension of Twitter's operations in Nigeria, the federal government is asking the House of Representatives to pass a law to regulate social and online media in the country.

The Nation reports that Alhaji Lai Mohammed the minister of information made this known on Wednesday, June 16, when he spoke at a public hearing on a bill to amend the National Broadcasting Act.

Minister of Information & Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed
The federal government is planning to regulate social and online media in Nigeria. Photo credit: @FMICNigeria
Source: Facebook

Mohammed wants the National Assembly to amend the existing NBC law so as to include internet broadcast and all online media broadcast in Nigeria.

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According to this minister, the government has an obligation to monitor broadcast content.

However, stakeholders in the media industry have kicked against the move saying the inclusion of internet broadcast and online media will be harmful to the civic space as well as freedom of expression, The Cable added.

FG hits all social media sites, broadcast stations

The government's proposal comes days after the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) ordered all social media platforms to obtain its license as a condition for operating in the country.

The order, which also affects all broadcast stations, was issued in a statement on Thursday, June 10, signed by the commission's director-general, Armstrong Idachaba.

Quoting the NBC's Act CAP N11, Laws of the Federation 2004, Section 2(1)(b)), Idachaba warned that stations and online platforms which fail to obtain the license will be regarded as illegal in Nigeria.

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3 things FG wants Twitter to do before ban is lifted

Though the suspension of Twitter still stands, the Nigerian government said it suspended the operations of the microblogging platform because of its persistent use for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.

However, on Wednesday, June 9, the minister of information and culture listed some of the conditions Twitter has to meet for the suspension to be lifted.


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