Stakeholders advocate social media control to curb misinformation

Stakeholders in various in sector have expressed concern over the use of social media in the promotion of hate speeches, fake news, warning that the social media regulation can only work if guildlines measure are being put in place.

Part of which is a tools in ensuring transparency, accountability in election process across the country.

Dr. Chichi Aniagolu-Okoye, gave the warning today at the 4th anniversary lecture organised by the Penpushing Media held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) Abeokuta, the state capital.

Dr. Chichi, a keynote speaker, who spoke on the theme of the anniversary "Social Media Regulation: Insecurity and elections accountability in Nigeria" said media as a power tools, needs a rules and guidelines in order not to have a negative effect in our society especially to curb the issues of elections violence and others

She said " It's important to recognize people's rights to freedom and people's rights to free speech, I think that a country like Nigeria can do is to look at how do we get the different people who can come together and co -design those guidelines or policies so you have civil society, academic, journalists, government, security and by the time those rules and regulations are brought out, everybody will agreed to them because they were part of creating them.

"It's important to do something that it's collectively so everybody agrees that on how it's done and make sense for every one.

"Part of what democracy does is giving people the right to free speech, free association, free engagement and so on and that's really what social media does, people are able to mobilize, create community on social media, they are able to network across countries, it's almost a definition of democracy.

"I think government should be looking at it at that positive angle . This is the first time in the creation of the universe that you can have a medium that you can reach billions of people in one goal. Government should look at it, how do we used it to engage our citizens because if we are in a democracy and the essence of democracy is the government of the people by the people, the government interest should be how do I reach the people? How do I form an alliance with the people? Social media provides that, so instead of focusing on how to worsen social media, Government should use it to engage and improve our democracy.

"There's is a lot the government can put in place, firstly been proactive in information 

"Information is what you require to be able to make a society function. If government is proactive with information I think that will help the election accountability. 

"Also the security apparatus also have to do their best because democracy strives in a peaceful environment, if you don't have peace, it will be difficult to have democracy. So been able to have the security apparatus ensure that their would be peace especially during election."

Addressing journalists, the new police force public relations officer (FPRO), Olumuyiwa Adejobi also subscribed to social media regulation saying that co-regulation is the key and it shouldn't be one sided.

Adejobi hinted that the only demerit affecting the social media is misinformation, and spreading of fake news.

He said there's need to regulate it and it should not be one sided. 

"The government should make policies on how to control and monitor the use of social media and the founders of this app must be able to regulate them.

He therefore urged the media and every sector in the country to have a co-regulation of the use of social media.

On his parts, the Penpushing Media founder, Mr Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji expressed gratitude to God Almighty, for making every edition of Penpushing Media anniversary a story of success.

Kayode-Adedeji explained that the theme of this year anniversary was borne out of current happening in the country, especially the issue of insecurity, election and the social media.

According to him "The insecurity, deregulation and social media is what is affecting the society at large .

"I would continue advice every journalist especially the young ones if you want to excel you must avoid fake news because all it does is destroy and even the person that spread such ends up getting himself into problem. 

"But if you're known for been truthful people will rally round you, people would support you and that has been our standard.

"You can't find fake news in penpushing and that what's make us to grow.If you're not sincere it's wrong.

He therefore appealed to all journalist particularly the younger ones to do proper investigation before spreading their information.

Among the eminent personalities at the event included the Governor of Ogun State who was represented by the state Commissioner of information, Waheed Odusile, speaker of the state house of Assembly, Rt Hon. Taiwo Olakunle Oluomo, the representative of Oni of Ife, the former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, the wife of former president, Bola Obasanjo among others.

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