By Henry Umoru
A bill that will regulate the use of social media in Nigeria, entitled, Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations Bill, 2019( SB.132), Wednesday scaled second reading in the Senate.
Consequently, the Bill was referred to the Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, All Progressives Congress, APC, Ekiti Central led Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to report back at Plenary in four weeks.
The Bill is now awaiting the Public Hearing before the third reading and passing at the end of the day.
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The Bill which is sponsored by the Chairman, Committee on Senate Services, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, All Progressives Congress, APC, Niger East was reintroduced in the Senate, November 6.
If passed at the end of the day, would help curb fake news on the internet.
Recall that a similar anti-social media Bill introduced by the previous eighth Senate which led to outrage across the country was later withdrawn.
The old Bill titled “A Bill for an Act to Prohibit Frivolous Petitions and other Matters Connected therewith” was sponsored by Bala Ibn Na’Allah, APC, Kebbi Central and sought to among others, compel critics to accompany their petitions with sworn court affidavit or face six months imprisonment upon conviction.
The old Bill passed the second reading before President Muhammadu Buhari distanced himself from it, saying he was committed to free speech.
The Senators were then forced to withdraw the Bill.