FEC: FG mulls regulatory framework for Facebook over growing social violence among Nigerians


The Federal Executive Council meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, deliberated on some of the social vices promoted by Facebook without its knowledge.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who confirmed that the issue came up for deliberations at the FEC meeting, also accused Nigerians living outside the shores of the country of keying into the mass platform to incite violence back home without necessarily being aware of the implications.

Mohammed said the management of Facebook saw reasons with the Nigerian government and plans to do something about it in the future.

Recall that the Federal Government recently unbanned Twitter, following its readiness to comply with regulatory measures outlined by the government.

Despite having to suffer some economic losses in billions and local/ international criticisms, the Nigerian government banned the operations of Twitter for several months before rescinding its decision.

Asked whether the issue came up for discussions at FEC, Mohammed said, “Oh, yes, we did. I had a very fruitful meeting with Facebook yesterday. At that meeting, we expressed our displeasure that Facebook was becoming a power of choice for those who stay outside Nigeria, in particular, to incite violence, killings, burning of government properties, killing of soldiers and policemen.

“And that they do more than what they are doing now in looking at the contents, which are unwholesome, which are being used on their platforms, incidentally, the BBC did a documentary on this particular issue and found out that some of them who call themselves social media warriors in England, in France and other places, have in recent times, be using the Facebook platform to incite violence in Nigeria. And we’ve all seen the real life impact of those war mongering, the young couple who are going to marry, soldiers who were gruesomely murdered.

“Over this weekend in Anambra State, policemen were killed, military barracks were attacked. And we did warn Facebook to please do more than what they are doing now. And I must say that their response was quite encouraging. They said you’re going to do much more.”

While briefing State House Correspondents, Mohammed allayed fears of banning Facebook if it continues to incite violence.

He said, “I think I gave you an answer. We had a very robust discussion with Facebook. Facebook saw our point and they said they’re going to do much more than what they are doing. So if they do that, why would we ban them?, we don’t ban for banning sake. We ban or we only suspend operations if for any reason, lives are threatened and they do not listen. But this is an engagement”.

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