Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has said the regulation of social media in the country by the government is not necessary.
Osinbajo who stated this in Abuja on Thursday at the interfaith religious dialogue on promoting religious tolerance and acceptance organized by the United Arab Emirate Embassy said however Nigerians need to apply caution in their usage of social media as not to make it an instrument of conflict.
According to him, “I want to say in particular about social media that we absolutely need to be careful with our use of social media. If we do not want to promote the kind of conflict that can completely go out of hand, we must be sure that we are policing ourselves and regulating ourselves on social media.
“I don’t think that government regulation is necessarily the way to go but I believe that we as persons of faith, as leaders and those of us who use social media actively, owe a responsibility to our society and to everyone else to ensure that we don’t allow it to become an instrument of conflict and war.
“Recently, I was sharing at a gathering about my aunty, an 81-year-old lady, who thought I had resigned. Sometime before the elections, news went round that I had resigned my appointment as Vice President. The news went round on social media and WhatsApp.
“My aunt insisted that I had resigned because the news was on WhatsApp. I had to explain to her that I didn’t resign even if the news was on WhatsApp.
“It was Rev. Sister Agatha who mentioned (in one of the panel discussions today) that if we are not careful, most people are not discerning enough to tell fact from fiction. Depending on what it is that you are spreading, if you choose to spread the sort of news that can create real conflict and religious misinformation which is the worst sort, it can create the kind of conflict that can completely get out of hand and jeopardize all of our lives, livelihood and property.
“It is important that we keep self-regulating and ensuring that we don’t lend our platforms to those who would promote conflict.”