The Implication Of ICT Regulation On Social Media In Nigeria: A Case Examine Of The Ban On Twitter | The Guardian Nigeria Information

As expected, the change in innovation is accompanied by regulatory laws. ICT regulation is a set of rules that regulates the use of ICT systems. ICT has evolved over the long term and has stayed in Nigeria. There are many institutions in Nigeria that tend to group spaces in human life. In the ICT region, there is evidence that this is not an exceptional case, as different laws have been passed to control different parts of the ICT. Hence, the aim of this National ICT Strategy is to create a structure to smooth the ICT field and improve its ability to catalyze and support financial progress that is Nigeria’s vision of becoming one of the best economies in the world develop is fundamental.

At the same time, this strategy will make Nigeria an information-based economy and will be used to promote activity plans, sub-sectoral strategies and explicit rules of execution. In this article, we will analyze the impact of some regulatory policies on social media based on a recent incident in Nigeria.

[FILES] A man looks at newspapers at a newspaper kiosk in Abuja, Nigeria, June 5, 2021. REUTERS / Afolabi Sotunde

Social media platforms are computer-based interactive technologies that enable the creation and / or exchange of information, ideas and career interests through virtual communities and networks. It is a free space for everyone, with the crucial attributes of an ideal and productive market. According to an analysis by Statista, the number of social network users in Nigeria is around 43 million in 2021, and that number is expected to rise to 103 million by 2026.

There are so many developed and underdeveloped social media platforms in Nigeria lately, but Twitter seems to be one of the most viewed. Twitter’s policy guide underscores its goal as a

“… to serve public conversation. Violence, harassment, and other similar behaviors keep people from expressing themselves and ultimately diminish the value of global public discussions. Our rules are designed to ensure that all people can freely and safely participate in public discussions. “

On Friday, June 4, 2021, the Nigerian government announced that it was suspending Twitter’s activities in the country. This move comes after Twitter deleted a tweet from Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari for violating the website’s rules. The sub-rule under security is “Violence” which states that “You must not threaten violence against any individual or group of people”. The president’s tweet allegedly references the 1967-70 Nigerian Civil War and threatens to treat those who misbehave “in the language they will understand”. It also follows a recent spate of attacks on offices, mainly in the southeast, attributed to regional secessionists.

As a result, the tweet did not comply with Twitter’s regulatory policy on violence and was therefore deleted. Therefore, the federal government confirms that the platform has been used for activities that may undermine Nigeria’s corporate existence, such as using the platform to organize, coordinate and conduct criminal activities, spread fake news and promote ethnic and religious sentiment, hence the reason for the suspension.

It is clear to say that Twitter has given voice to many Nigerian youth, fueled small business growth and provided job opportunities for the unemployed, and that the Twitter ban has really affected most social media users. The NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool estimates its impact on the Nigerian economy as Nigeria loses N 102.77 million (US $ 250,600) hourly to the ban. Also, FDC confirms that there is a sharp spike in youth unemployment and investor skepticism, which would negatively impact the tech and e-commerce space.

In one country, the government bodies adopt essential future-oriented guidelines for action which formally aim to achieve the public interest with the means possible. Following the suspension of Twitter, the federal government, along with its technical team, set up a presidential committee to mandate Twitter to investigate the possibility of solving these problems – national security and cohesion; Registration, physical presence and representation; Fair taxation; Dispute resolution and local content. Therefore, the ban will only be lifted if these conditions are met, so that Nigerian citizens can continue to use the platform for business and positive engagements. This is to ensure that digital companies use their platform to improve the lives of our citizens, respect Nigeria’s sovereignty and cultural values, and promote online safety.

It is difficult to achieve innovation without protecting ideas. The emergence of new technologies in the form of social media has opened many doors for socio-economic and political development in Nigeria. The conditions placed on Twitter by the Nigerian government are a form of ICT regulation that will contribute to higher productivity and higher growth, as well as the creation of more and better jobs in Nigeria. Undoubtedly, this policy is forward-looking as it aims to change the future and make futuristic improvements. In addition, ICT is not evolving in isolation, but rather according to the industrial environment it encounters, hence the Nigerian government’s request to project local content and dispute resolution in Nigeria on Twitter.

Insofar as the conditions highlighted by the federal government have tempting advantages for the citizens, the delay in the acceptance of these conditions by Twitter will hit small businesses with a presence on Twitter, slow down technological progress and if Twitter violates the prescribed regulation , it will hurt the public.

Finally, ICT regulation can inhibit or stimulate technological change, as can be seen when people choose other ways of accessing Twitter after the ban in Nigeria. Technology, when used properly, can be extremely helpful to the prosperity of economies, as a good percentage of the country’s GDP is generated by micro-entrepreneurs, creating new jobs and developing new ideas that help the economy.

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