Social Media and Responsibility of Government
*Dr Reuben* *Abati* of ThisDay wrote:
. . . . .Last weekend, Nigerians gave President Buhari a wife, married her off, collected bride price on her family’s behalf and gave the First Lady of Nigeria, such a massive heartache that smoked her out. Human beings are very wicked.
I am now tempted to see the reason in the argument that there should be some regulation of social media content, despite my commitment to free speech.
A situation whereby any anonymous character can just hide in one corner, create a terrible tale and disrupt the public order is dangerous for our democracy. It is an abuse of free speech. What happened last weekend is enough to be treated as treasonable felony.
What if the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, had collapsed and slumped upon hearing that her husband planned to take another wife? What if Sadiya Umar Farouk’s family had acted on the information and accused the President openly of kidnapping their daughter?
His position as President certainly does not give him the right to grab another man’s daughter without due process, especially as he took an oath of office to respect the rule of law! What if Aisha’s children had confronted the President to defend their mother only to realize that they were responding to fake news and hate speech?
Whoever tried to cause a revolution in the President’s household should be identified, investigated and sanctioned. Who released that fake video? For what reason? Who published the fake wedding news and arranged to make it go viral? Fake news is unacceptable. It runs contrary to all known principles of journalism: truth, accuracy, objectivity and fairness.
If the security agencies know what they are doing, they will take a deeper look at this matter.
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