Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has stated that the federal government have put steps in motion to sanitise the social media space to prevent it from causing rancour in the nation.
In an interview with reporters yesterday in Abuja, he stated that, “We have written letters to the major stakeholders who would nominate representatives and we are going to sit down together to decide on how best to confront this menace,”
The minister said that the government had the responsibility of keeping the country together, however, he claimed that the social media was always at the end of thwarting those efforts.
The government had earlier welcomed debates and criticism that had followed the announcement of the decision to sanitize and regulate the social media. However, the government was not going to allow hate speech to be free speech. According to Mohammed;
“We are glad about the criticism because what we set out to achieve is to bring the matter to the front burner of discourse.
“We are not under any illusion that the people will take this hook line and sinker.
“We are, however, glad that there are more people who believe that the social media poses imminent danger to the unity of Nigeria, especially as they have become merchants of fake news and hate speech,” he said.
Mohammed stressed that those who opposed the regulation of the social media had not denied the fact that the platform was being used by purveyors of fake news and hate speech with grave consequences.
He also lamented that the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and other media professional bodies, which were supposed to support the regulation, were kicking against it. But he maintained that however how much the criticism and opposition, the social media would still be regulated.
The minister reiterated that no amount of criticism and opposition would stop the regulation of the social media and the air waves.