✕ CLOSE Online Special City News Entrepreneurship Environment Factcheck Everything Woman Home Front Islamic Forum Life Xtra Property Travel & Leisure Viewpoint Vox Pop Women In Business Art and Ideas Bookshelf Labour Law Letters
Click Here To Listen To Trust Radio Live

Should social media be regulated?

There have been statements by federal government officials to regulate social media use in the country. This will be the second time the issue of…

There have been statements by federal government officials to regulate social media use in the country. This will be the second time the issue of regulatingsocial media will be discussed in Nigeria following the temporary shutdown of X formerly Twitter in 2021. In this Vox Pop, Daily Trust Saturday spoke to some Nigerians about their thoughts on the issue.

 

Joshua Dangana, engineer, 59, Abuja
What is the government scared of? That is not the most important issue in the country right now. What’s the government doing about the current insecurity ravaging the country, coupled with the economic hardship? Innocent citizens are starving and dying unjustly and they are talking about regulating the social media. What an absolute joke of a government!

Oyiza Lawal, trader, 50, Abuja
Those who cannot govern competently are looking to regulate social media because it holds their feet to the fire. Have they thought of regulating the price of food stuffs? I could remember a country I visited, every morning, government will publish how much a kilo of chicken will be sold, even tomatoes. In other countries, manufacturers will put maximum retail price on their products and no one dare sell above that price. What stops Nigerian politicians from applying what they see abroad here?

Akawu Ibrahim, journalist, 52, Abuja
The last administration had thought of regulating the social media but citizens rose against it. The social media is a cardinal platform that citizens use to express themselves. And expressing oneself is a fundamental right enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Government cannot gag the people by regulating the social media. Doing so is suppressing the right of citizens. I advise the government to suspend that idea and think of something better. Social media has provided opportunities for easy interaction; it has given citizens the opportunity to voice out their views. And it’s even the platform that government uses to gauge the feelings of its citizens. So, it’s also beneficial to the government, not just the citizens alone. The current administration came into power through the use of social media. The current administration used the social media during campaigns to communicate to voters. So, the idea of regulating the social media should be thrown away. In Nigeria, even when leaders know where the problem is, they would prefer to treat the wound using different mechanisms. Government should address the problems holding us back instead of trying to regulate social media that allows people the opportunity to be heard.

Abubakar Idris Ja’agi, 38, Abuja
First of all, if government regulates social media, it will affect us, especially the small business owners. Social media is the only medium through which we advertise our businesses and services freely without much cost. When social media is regulated, it will mean that someone will decide what we post. At the end of the day, it will turn into who you know and people will begin to bribe those in charge of regulating the platforms.
Secondly, regulating social media will amount to an infringement on the right of expression of citizens as enshrined in the constitution. Citizens will no longer have that right to criticize wrong policies of government which will not help our democracy. Ordinary citizens will no longer be heard.

Toyin Adekunle, Entrepreneur, 29, Abuja
I think the energy and resources that will be committed to regulating social media, if channelled positively in regulating corruption, inflation and insecurity in Nigeria will surely be a worthwhile venture. Eventually, the seemly social media menace will naturally regulate itself!

Abdullahi Yusuf Tela, lecturer, 32, Minna
As someone from the communication field, regulating social media will be tantamount to infringing on the freedom of expression enshrined in the Nigeria’s constitution. Of course, there is the influx of fake news, hate speech, misinformation and disinformation on social media but the federal government should look at the matter again. Developed countries now use application software to detect fake news that circulates on social media. We can also key into this development. We can use this medium to curtail the excesses of fake news. We can’t claim to be practicing democracy and be subjecting citizens to all kinds of regulations contrary to provisions of our constitution.

Yasira Muhammed, entrepreneur, 27, Minna
Social media is a good platform that we use to inform, educate, entertain and even enlightened the public on the events happening round us. But in recent time, it has been abused. Some people now use social media to cause trouble which I believe made the federal government to think of regulating it. However, I must say that social media has a lot of advantages. I’m always on social media and I have seen a lot of people making millions of naira through online marketing even though some people use it to spread fake news, controversial reports, promote nudity and engage in unprofessional criticisms of political, religious and social leaders. To me, the plan by the federal government to regulate social media is a welcome development because it will bring sanity and also limit social media menace. The regulation will make a lot of people change the mode of advertising their business because some people use vulgar, abusive and indecent languages to advertise their products. However, the regulation should be carefully done by striking a balance between protecting users, ensuring free speech, and fostering a competitive and innovative digital environment in Nigeria.

VERIFIED: It is now possible to live in Nigeria and earn salary in US Dollars with premium domains, you can earn as much as $12,000 (₦18 Million).
Click here to start.