The Nigerian Senate is set to impose a sum of N150,000 fine and 3 years imprisonment on offenders of social media regulations. To this effect, it has revived the ‘social media use’ bill which aims to regulate how Nigerians will use social media.
Tagged ‘Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations Bill, 2019’, the bill’s first reading was passed on Wednesday, the 6th of November 2019. It was alleged that Senator Mohammed Sani Musa.
The bill states that any individual who violates the regulations may pay the sum of N150,000, face 3 years imprisonment or both. The bill also states that corporations found guilty may pay between N5 million to N10 million in fines. In essence, Telcos like MTN, GLO, Airtel or 9mobile are liable to be fined should they ignore to block false information despite being alerted by the authorities.
Senator Mohammed Sani Musa noted that the regulation is well in place to displace the false information being spread on social media.
In his words; “It is a legislation that will guide how we can tolerate our activities on social media. False information has been disseminated so many times and they have caused so much chaos in different parts of the World.”
Before the bill in Nigeria, some countries across the world like Australia, France and Egypt, have all implemented regulations that curtailed the spread of false information. Recall that in Nigeria, the Senate first introduced the bill some time ago but later withdrew it after it caused outrage across the country. But Senator Mohammed has assured Nigerians that bill is not a fight against freedom of Speech.
He said, “It is not to stop people from going into the internet to do whatever they feel legitimate is okay to do but what we felt what was wrong is for you to use the medium to document information that you know is false, just because you want to achieve your desirable interest.”