Social media regulation has been one hot topic subject to serious debate each time it is brought up especially in Nigeria.
It is quite understandable that the social media is being used by some of the users to spread false news which sometimes create a lot of panic that could be overstretched and degenerate further to crisis.
While some government officials are so bent on enacting the regulation as soon as practicable, the masses usually give it a fierce chase each time it is brought up.
For the umpteenth time, the issue of regulating the social media usage for the youths has been brought up and people are not showing any signs of buying the idea or even giving it a possible consideration in the near future.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammed Saad Abubakar III, who is spearheading the latest call for social media regulation cited that the medium is being used to fuel conflicts and therefore needs to be curtailed.
As much as it comes off as a great idea, there has been so much ado about the same course over the years and it is about time Nigerian government officials sought another way out asides regulating the social media.
You may recollect the heavy criticisms faced by the controversial bill to “Prohibit Frivolous Petitions and Other Matters Connected Therewith,” proposed by Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah from the ruling All People’s Congress party (APC).
In fact, it was treated as a matter of dead on arrival quest as many people were just out to give it a knock down before it gets more serious.
The bill recommended that it should be illegal for any Nigerian to start any type of petition without swearing an affidavit in a court of law that the content is true and in a case where anybody or group of persons is convicted of having sent false messages on social media, they would be made to face a jail term for as long as two years.
We are in an era where the social media has become an active tool with which the masses reach out to the government on burning issues in order to get a faster reaction and possible solutions to them.
As it is currently, Nigeria doesn’t have an active opposition party when it comes to the political system and it is apparent that the government needs an opposition to checkmate its activities and put them to their toes as the case may be.
A lot of citizens who have the good of the country at heart have resorted to playing the watchdog role to the government while criticizing the government when need be and appraising them as well when they deserve the accolades.
That is one of the major reasons why any attempt to gag or regulate people on social media would be a clear dead on arrival venture.
One will not be wrong to assert that a continued push for social media regulation is a threat to democracy and at the same time, abuse of power by those in authority.
Actually, social media activism pays even though a lot of people may not be aware of that fact.
If you trace most of the issues that got prompt reactions in recent times, you will be shocked to see that the origin actually came from social media rants.
There is a growing trend in Africa where governments are slapping regulations on the digital space and in as much as their intentions are right, the initiative will likely die a natural death like many other white elephant projects in the past.
In this era when the world has been turned into a global village, news spread even faster than wildfire, regulating the social media may not be the solution to the many problems being encountered by the country.
The Federal Government should devise better strategies to put an end to the challenges in the country.
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