Nigerian Government Moves Against IPOB, Makes 1 Key Demand from Google
- The Nigerian government has called on Google to evict proscribed terrorist groups from their platforms
- The call by the Nigerian government was made by the minister of information, culture and tourism Lai Mohammed
- Mohammed submitted that the activities of groups like the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on YouTube are aimed at spreading hate and violence
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The Federal Government on Thursday, August 4, urged the American multinational technology giant company, Google to kick out proscribed groups including the Indigenous People of Biafra from its platform.
The request was made to Google by the minister of information, culture and tourism, Lai Mohammed when a team from the tech company visited him in Abuja.
He expressed delight that both the Federal Government and Google shared the same concern on the responsible use of Social Media.
Further describing activities of the IPOB and other proscribed terrorist groups on Google platforms like YouTube as excessively subversive, Mohammed alleged that the organisation make use of these channels to propagate hate and disinformation against the country.
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The minister said:
“We want Google to look into how to tackle the use of private and unlisted YouTube channels and YouTube live streams by proscribed groups and terrorist organizations.
"Channels and emails containing names of proscribed groups and their affiliates should not be allowed on Google platforms."
IPOB making YouTube its choice platform
Mohammed, while noting that Google is a platform of choice for IPOB, a proscribed terrorist group, implored the tech giant to deny the group the use of its platform for its acts of violence and destabilization of Nigeria.
He also admitted that Nigerians are among the most vibrant social media users in the world, with over 100 million Internet users in the country, and that 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.
While observing that those platforms are also used by unscrupulous persons or groups for subversive and nefarious activities, Mohammed said that the Nigerian Government recently proposed a “Code of Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries” to provide a framework for collaboratively protecting Nigerian users of Internet platforms.
“This code couldn't have come at a better time, as the country prepares for general elections next year. We are committed to working with platforms like yours as well as the civil society, lawyers, media practitioners and other relevant stakeholders to ensure responsible use of the Internet and to protect our people from the harmful effects of social media."
Also speaking, the regional director, Sub-Saharan Africa for Google on government affairs and public policy, Charles Murito, said the platform has introduced a programme called “Trusted Flaggers”.
Murito explained that these flaggers allow citizens trained to track and engage with online materials in order to flag the content of serious concern.
“As I mentioned earlier, we share the same sentiments, we share the same goals and objectives and we do not want our platform to be used for ill purposes."
For Google Government Affairs and Public Policy Manager, Adewolu Adene, Equiano, a subsea cable which recently berthed in Nigeria from Portugal, is aimed at enhancing connectivity.
The cable also gives access to the internet as well as drives down the cost of data to create jobs and facilitate the transfer of knowledge.
According to Adene, through the Google News Initiative Challenge, 30 media platforms, with 5 from Nigeria would be awarded a $3.2 million grant in recognition of their innovative work in information dissemination.
Adene also assured of Google's commitment to work with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to digitize the recently-repatriated artifacts in order to preserve and market them to a global audience through Google Arts and Culture.