By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
The federal government said yesterday it would continue to monitor developments around microblogg platform, Twitter, following its takeover by a new owner.
Consequently, the government said it would not allow any social media platform plunge Nigeria into crisis.
The Minister of Information, Alhajir Lai Mohammed, made the position of the Nigerian government known at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday.“The minister said the suspension of the platform last year was due to the penchant by some elements to use it to destabilise Nigeria via fake news, disinformation and hate speech.“Mohammed warned that the government does not intend to ban any media from performing its duties, but would also not allow any platform to be used to plunge the country into anarchy.“The minister said: ” Many have called to ask us what will become of our agreement with Twitter, in view of the change in its ownership.
”Many have asked for our reaction,j following reports that there has been a spike in fake news, disinformation and hate speech since the micro-blogging site changed ownership. Many have even asked us if another ban is in the offing?“”Let me say this: We are closely monitoring the evolving developments at Twitter. It has never been our intention to ban any social media platform or stifle free speech. Not at all.
”What happened in the case of Twitter is well known to all. Twitter became a platform of choice for those who want to destabilize Nigeria, using fake news, disinformation and hate speech. No nation will allow any social media platform to plunge it into anarchy.
”Definitely not Nigeria. But we have continued to engage positively with the different social media platforms, including Facebook, Google (owners of YouTube) and Twitter.
“We have no intention of banning any social media platform again. But we will also not sit by and allow any platform whatsoever to throw our nation into crisis,” the minister said.