- The IAC, a watchdog based in Imo State, said fake news cannot thrive on social media when there is good governance
BY EBERE EKECHI
A watchdog, Imo Awareness Coalition, IAC, has said good governance will “reduce considerably the abuse of the social media”
Spokesman of IAC, Fidelis Echendu, told newsmen in Owerri, that the Coalition is against “calls for the regulation of the social media as advocated by the Federal Government and some State governors”
Northern governors had last week called for the regulation of the social media.
Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, aligned with his Northern counterparts, when he also called for the regulation of the social media, which he identified as one of the factors which led to the escalation of violence that trailed the EndSars protests.
Echendu said “The abuse of the social media in Nigeria can be related to the prevalence of bad governance.
“Bad governance gives birth to complaints and expressions by the citizenry. And most times, some expressions on the social media are considered not palatable by those who are in government
“The social media is the only platform accessible to all, including those in government. It offers a broad space for the citizenry, to say or voice out their displeasure over bad governance or other issues of importance.
“I admit, sometimes some people tend to go overboard in their expressions on the social media, but it is not enough to say it should be censored.
“When there is good governance,there will be no need for anyone to abuse the government or say things that are not palatable to those in authority on the internet.
“Fake news cannot thrive in a state or nation those in government are governing well.
Echendu said those calling for regulation of the social media fail to see its positive gains.
“The positive gains inherent in the use of the social media, outweighs its disadvantages. Democracy is synonymous with free speech as enshrined in our Constitution.
“No democratic nation has faulted the social media. And if we are truly a democratic nation, some group of people should not lose sleep over the social media.
He said already some social media platforms such as Facebook, and Twitter, have put in place measures to check the spread of fake news, thus “meaningfully regulating the abuse of the social media”
“The U.S presidential election is an eye opener. Twitter had to flag certain comments on its platform posted by President Donald Trump, because it considered or viewed such comments to be fake. This shows these platforms are already self regulatory. Imposing our self styled regulation will be an over kill” he stated.