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General News of Friday, 18 March 2022


Federal Government insists on Code of practice for social media

Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami

The Federal Government has said it was working on what it described as Code of Practice for social media platforms in the country to put an end to the unbridled use of the platforms for unwholesome activities.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami who spoke while playing host to a delegation of video-focused social networking service, TikTok, in his office in Abuja, stressed the need to entrench transparency, laws, and regulations in social media usage to ensure a safer digital space, devoid of illegalities and promoters of fake news.

Represented by the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, the minister raised several concerns bordering on security, tax payment, direct contact with TikTok and general content hygiene.

He emphasised the fact that there should be consequences for anyone who uses social media to commit a crime and maintained that anything that is illegal offline should also be illegal online.

The minister who recalled the issues that ensued between the Federal Government and Twitter which led to the suspension of the platform’s operations in Nigeria said the microblogging and social networking service had to agree and meet certain conditions upon which its ban was lifted.

The conditions, he explained, are to be extended to other social media platforms, including TikTok.

Pantami was emphatic when he reiterated the need to direct contact with the company to agree on the timeline to either delete erring content or suspend accounts that violate rules.

He encouraged TikTok to register and have an office in the country to enable prompt communications for subsequent engagements.

Head of Government Relations and Public Policy, TikTok- Middle East, Turkey, Africa and Pakistan, Farah Tukan, said the team intends to host a series of workshops in Abuja and Lagos with the aim of enlightening Nigerians on how the platform works; taking a deep dive into how contents are moderated; developed and how policies are enforced.

She confirmed TikTok’s readiness to explore more areas of collaboration with the agency to continue to contribute to keeping Nigerian users safe on its platform as well as promote the creative industries in Nigeria.