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“We could have shutdown Social Media during #EndSARS protest, but we did not” – Dare

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Federal Government has maintained that it would work hand-in-hand with the National Assembly to ensure fake news on social media is controlled within the legal framework.

Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, who spoke on Channels Television’s morning show on Monday said other countries had taken certain measures to exercise some levels of restraint over the cyberspace but Nigeria was yet to do so.

‘‘The government had the option of shutting down the social media space in Nigeria during the #EndSARS protests but chose not to tread the path, adding that the National Assembly will do justice to the proposed regulation of the social media to guard against the spread of fake news”, Dare said.

“The issue of fake news is bothersome for the government and the protests brought home the dangers of fake news. Where you have fake news destroying lives, the government has a responsibility to make sure that there is a level of control. It is not censorship but some level of control.

“The talk around regulation, of course, we have a National Assembly, it will have to go through the normal process. We have a constitution; we have to make sure it does not violate certain provisions of the constitution that has to do with freedom of expression.

“The fact that our youths used it to mobilise is commendable. But the talk about the regulation of the social media has been around for a while. We’ve seen other countries taking practical steps in that direction, this country has not done that.

“Even during the #EndSARS protests, the country had an option (but) the country never went for that final option. There was no time the cyberspace was shut down, people were still able to connect themselves through the various social media platforms. And that shows a government that is committed to the rights of freedom and association of every citizen of this country”, he added.

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