Google, a major internet company, and the Federal Government are working together to reduce the number of subversive YouTube channels that spread false information and hate speech against Nigeria.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, said this on Thursday in Abuja when a Google delegation paid him a courtesy visit.
He expressed his happiness that Google and the Federal Government both had the same concerns about using social media responsibly.
“We want Google to investigate ways to address how banned groups and terrorist organisations use private, unlisted YouTube channels and live streams.
The minister stated that “Google platforms should not allow channels and emails containing names of proscribed groups and their affiliates.”
The minister claimed that the Indigenous People of Biafra, which he called a terrorist organisation outlawed, had chosen Google as their platform of choice.
Mohammed pleaded with the tech giant to forbid IPOB from using its platform for its violent and destabilising activities.
With over 100 million Internet users, he claimed that Nigerians are some of the world’s most active social media users.
Nigerians can interact, share ideas, make a living, and take part in social and political affairs thanks to internet platforms like Google, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, and WhatsApp, he continued.
However, the minister pointed out that dishonest individuals or organisations also use these platforms for nefarious and subversive activities.
In an effort to establish a framework for cooperatively protecting Nigerian users of Internet platforms, Mohammed claimed that the Nigerian government recently proposed a “Code of Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries.”
As the nation gets ready for general elections next year, this code couldn’t have come at a better time. To ensure responsible Internet use and safeguard our people from the negative effects of social media, we are committed to collaborating with platforms like yours as well as the civil society, attorneys, media professionals, and other relevant stakeholders, he said.
Charles Murito, the Google Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, Government Affairs, and Public Policy, announced that the platform has launched a programme for citizens who have been trained to monitor and interact with online content in order to flag content of serious concern called “Trusted Flaggers.”
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