There’s need to implement social media bill, Senator Gobir insists

Senator representing Niger East senatorial district, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, has said the controversial Social Media Bill currently before the Nigerian Senate, will not restrain Journalists nor obstruct rights to free speech by Nigerians. There’s need to implement.

The Bill titled ‘Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations and Other Related Matters Bill’ (2019) sponsored by Senator Musa, passed second reading on the floor of the Senate on Thursday. Controversies have continued to trail the Bill, as many believe it was targeted at Online Journalists (New Media), and also the freedom of expression of social media operators.

But the statement signed Sunday evening by the lawmaker reads in part, “I am against any provision of law that will stifle free speech and gag the media in our land. Everyone has the right to free speech”. Senator Musa said the Bill has potency to protect both the Journalists and Nigerian social media users, against falsehood. There’s need to implement.

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“Hence, making laws to stop disseminating false and fake news is necessary. This is for the good of us all, I do not support and will resist to any draconian legislation. “If you study my proposed Bill very well, you will see that everyone is kind of protected and not any particular individual or group of persons, rather, it will be a tool to deterrence to the few actors of fake news and propaganda that negatively take advantage of the internet”, he added.

The lawmaker also stressed that the “Bill is not the same as ‘Hate Speech Bill'”, adding that, it has no correlation with the proposed regulation of social media activities by the federal government. Popularly known as the ‘Social Media Bill’, the piece of legislation if passed into law will prevent the transmission of false statement/declaration of facts in Nigeria and to enable measures to be taken to counter the effects of such transmission.

Will also Suppress the financing, promotion and other support of online locations that repeatedly transmit false statements/declaration in Nigeria, as well as enable measures to be taken to detect, control and safeguard against coordinated inauthentic behaviour and other misuses of online accounts and bots.

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