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FORMER MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND CULTURE EMPHASIZES THE CRITICAL NECESSITY OF REGULATING SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS             

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FORMER MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND CULTURE EMPHASIZES THE CRITICAL NECESSITY OF REGULATING SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS                                                                                23-03-24

By Sadiq Aminu                                                        Former Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has emphasized the critical necessity of regulating social media platforms to combat the rampant spread of fake news within the country.

Speaking at an event commemorating the 90th birthday of Africa’s esteemed Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, under the theme “Disinformation and misinformation: the media in the age of discontent,” Alhaji Mohammed called for decisive action against this growing threat.

Highlighting the detrimental impacts of fake news on democracy, security, and societal cohesion, the former minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed stressed the urgent need for media literacy campaigns to empower Nigerians in discerning between factual and fabricated information.

He lamented the distressing consequences of misinformation, including the breakdown of marriages and tragic incidents of suicide, attributing these crises in part to the unchecked proliferation of false narratives on social media platforms.

Recounting his tenure as minister, Alhaji Mohammed revealed alarming statistics, citing an investigation that uncovered 476 online platforms disseminating fake news against the government.

He underscored the exponential challenge posed by advancements in Artificial Intelligence, which have facilitated the distortion of truth on an unprecedented scale.

In addition to advocating for regulatory measures targeting social media platforms, Alhaji Mohammad urged the media to reclaim its credibility through proactive efforts in debunking fake news and promoting information integrity.

However, not all voices aligned with Alhaji Mohammed’s stance. Political economist Prof. Anthony Kila cautioned against over reliance on regulation, advocating instead for media diligence in uncovering the truth.

Former General Manager, FRCN Radio One station in Lagos, Mrs. Funke Treasure, echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the imperative of modifying educational curricula to equip individuals with critical information management skills.

The discussion also featured contributions from anthropologist and documentary filmmaker Prof. Jean Paul Colleyn, and author Mr. Nze Ed Keozor.

The event wrapped up with the screening of documentaries celebrating the illustrious legacy of Prof. Wole Soyinka.

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