Free Porn
xbporn

Trending Topics:

Social Media Bill And Its Effect on Freedom Of Speech

Critics say the bill was sponsored due to the number of times social media has been used to call out erring and corrupt officials.

The Controversial Social Media Bill has got Nigerians up in arms as many fear it will stifle freedom of speech.

In a country like Nigeria where avenues for self-expression, critiquing government policies, reporting crime and calling for change are almost absent and where present is grossly ineffective, social media has become the preferred channel for venting.

The Nigerian Senate

Some Nigerians have accused the lawmakers of attempting to take that (freedom) away through the social media bill.

What is the social media bill?

The Social Media Bill is actually called‘Protection from Internet Falsehoods, Manipulations and Other Related Matters Bill 2019. The bill is sponsored by Senator Mohammed Musa representing Niger East Senatorial District

Musa said the bill does not intend to gag the media but to check the spread of false information on the internet

According to Musa:

“Today, motivated by geopolitical interest and identity politics, state and non- state actors use the internet to discredit government, misinform people and turn one group against the other. The hoax about the demise of President Muhammadu Buhari in London and his purported replacement by one Jubril of Sudan, among others, are things that threaten the peace, security, and harmony of our people.”

Content of the Bill

According to the bill, a person must not transmit a statement that is false or might:

  • affect the country’s security, public safety or public finance.
  • Affect Nigeria’s relationship with other countries.
  • influence the outcome of an election to any office in a general election.
  • Cause enmity or hatred towards a person or group of persons

Penalties:

  • Anyone found guilty is liable to a fine of N300,000 or three years imprisonment or both while corporate bodies found guilty will be fined N10 million
  • The same punishment applies for fake online or parody accounts used to transmit fake news.
  • Also, social media influencers who receive payment to help broadcast false statements are liable to a fine of N150,000 or three years imprisonment or both.

Enforcement:

  • According to the bill, offenders can still be prosecuted even after the “false statement” has been corrected or pulled down. The offender will be required to publish a “correction notice” in a specified newspaper, online location or other printed publication of Nigeria.
  • Failure to comply, a person is liable to N200,000 or 12 months imprisonment or both (for an individual) and five million naira for organizations.
  • To further deter others, the offender’s internet access will be disabled by the Nigerian Communications Commission

Controversy

The social media is not new in fact it is a modification of the anti-social media bill which was presented before the 8th senate. 

Besides the uproar it has incited in the country, support for the bill is divided

Senators Ibrahim Gobir, Abba Moro and Elisha Abbo vehemently supported the bill during plenary.

Senator Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu East) was the only senator who opposed the bill on the floor of parliament when it came up for debate.

Nigerians have been using various platforms to speak out about the bill even creating a hashtag on twitter #SayNoToSocialMediaBill. The major concern expressed is that the bill will take away the constitutional right to free speech while clamping down on opposition views.

Speaking to Roots Tv Nigeria, Anyingor Chris Monday, an Abuja resident believes Nigerians have the right to say whatever they want to say whatever it is good or bad. His view was seconded by Chris Monday, a civil servant who said the bill will gag the media and social critics who speak out against the government.

Kola Alapinni, a human rights lawyer criticized Senator Musa for allegedly stealing the idea of the bill from Singapore. He says:

“Before Singapore instituted that bill they put everything in place. Go to Singapore and see. Here they want to fail us and stop us from speaking against them. This bill is designed to gag everyone because there are already existing laws that tackle all these issues raised in the social media bill”

Possible dangers of the social media bill

According to The 2019 Global Digital Report, there are 98.39 million internet users in the country,

With ineffective and poorly managed institutions, Nigerians resort to social media to air their views on all matters.  Many have said those mainly affected by citizens’ use of these platforms are corrupt officials and institutions hence the bill.

Though the proponents of this bill argue that it is designed to safeguard the country from negative online activity, many have questioned the number of reported cases of violence, loss of lives and threat to security that have been caused by the use of social media in Nigeria

Critics say the bill was sponsored due to the number of times social media has been used to call out erring and corrupt officials through various campaigns like #EndSARS #ArewaMeToo #FixNigerianRoads which have led to positive change.

Under the proposed bill, law enforcement agencies will have regulatory powers over internet intermediaries like the NCC and can instruct them to cut off online access to users. Many are worried these agencies will abuse citizen’s rights considering their reported poor human rights records.

There are perhaps many Nigerians who believe the social media bill is a ploy to gag free speech.

Meanwhile, the bill is quite close to becoming a law as it already passed the second reading on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. It is only one more reading and assent by the president away from coming into effect.

Follow by Email
YouTube
Instagram
WhatsApp
Tiktok