Thursday, December 03, 2020

Curbing social media abuse: FG solicits supports of credible online publishers - ITREALMS

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In efforts to fight menace of social media, the Federal Government (FG) has solicited the support of reputable online publishers in the country, reports 
ITREALMS. 

The Federal Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed made this solicitation in Lagos, Tuesday saying this has become imperative because a lot of online publishers rely heavily on the new media.
As said by him, “we solicit your support in our effort to fight this menace.” 

He advised online publishers like the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) to be mindful of what their members do because they could be doing themselves a great favour by helping to weed out those who are abusing social media among them. 

ALSO READ: Lai Mohammed: I never said ‘Nigeria is at mercy of Boko Haram’ - ITREALMS


“If things get to a level where people can no longer trust anything published online, no one stands to lose more than media practitioners. That's why we continue to seek your support on this issue,” he said. 

The minister further said that “as I have always said, checking the abuse of social media is not synonymous with stifling press freedom or free speech.” 

He cited for instance that on Monday, an online publication wrongly quoted him as saying “Nigeria is at the mercy of Boko Haram” which he described as “sheer fabrication and an abuse of platform.” 

Pointing out that “While in Makurdi, Benue State, on an official visit, I was asked by journalists to comment on the killing of farmers in Borno State over the weekend.” 

He expressed surprise on how above statement translated into the allegation that Nigeria is at the mercy of Boko Haram if not for sake of sensationalising the subject to attract visitors than nationalism and upholding truth. 

Terrorism, he noted, is a global problem that requires the collaborative efforts among nations to combat, even as Nigeria needs the support of global partners, especially in the area of acquisition of effective platforms to deal with the terrorists. 

“Some of the platforms ordered and paid for by Nigeria have yet to be supplied till date, thus weakening the war on terror,” he decried. 

With the aforementioned example, he asked if anyone is still in doubt that something urgent needs to be done to rein in the abuse of social media? 

“Regulation or whatever, we have to do something most urgently” he declared.

Chuks Egbune/DoP

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