Protests held across the country brought home the dangers of fake news.
Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ programme, the Minister disclosed that what happened during the protests has been reviewed to a certain extent. He alleged that there have been debunking of several of the stories of deaths that came up.
“The protests brought home the dangers of fake news. Several months back, Nobel Laureate Winner, Professor Wole Soyinka said fake news is like the bomb that can destroy the world and it is sure that the bomb will come from Nigeria.
“What happened during the protests has been reviewed to a certain extent. We have seen debunking of several of the stories of deaths that came up.
“Everyone is worried about the negative impacts of fake news.”
The Minister who expressed home of the National Assembly doing justice to the proposed regulation of social media to guard against the spread of fake news, added that the Federal Government had the option of shutting down the social media space during the #EndSARS protests but chose not to tread the path.
“The talk around regulation, of course, we have a National Assembly, it will have to go through the normal process. We have a constitution, they will have to make sure it does not violate certain provisions of the constitution that has to do with freedom of expression.
“Where you have fake news destroying lives, the government has a responsibility to make sure that there is a level of control. It is not censorship but some level of control.
“Everyone one of us benefits from the internet. The fact that our youths used it to mobilise is commendable.
“But the talk about the regulation of social media has been around for a while. We’ve seen other countries taking practical steps in that direction, this country has not done that.
“Even during the #EndSARS protests, the country had an option. The country never went for that final option.”
The Minister further stated that the federal government is committed to the rights of freedom and association of every citizen of this country. According to him, the fact the Federal Government did not shut down cyberspace during the protest attests to this fact.