Many will be wondering what is protection from internet falsehoods and manipulations and other related matters bill again, or has the red chamber come up with another bill again? Well for those who are conversant with this bill will already know what it is all about and for those who are yet to understand the subject matter, well let me break it down for you, it is the same one and only ever-controversial bill popularly known as social media bill.
What is this bill all about and who is sponsoring such a bill? First of all the bill is sponsored by Senator Muhammad Sani Musa (APC). One of the major aims of this bill is to control the spread of fake news as sighted the senator himself of a recent occurrence of an ugly incidence of the trending news of the president getting married to one of the female ministers.
Another is the influencing of elections and referendums, which is quite hard for the average user of the internet, but will definitely affect social media influencers and also social media companies and blogs.
And finally, prohibitions of fake news that can affect the peace of the country, the perception of others about the country and the financial status of the country. This will definitely affect every user of social media.
One of the arguments of the sponsor of the bill is that it doesn’t affect the press in as much they are reporting facts and not fake news but one thing that comes to mind is that “what if the facts will affect the peace and stability of the country, will they be subjected to the same sanctions or due to the sanctions, the media houses should leave it out of print”
Well that is a question yet to be answered, so moving forward; the following parties highlighted in the aims of the bill include the following:
This includes you and I and the social media influencers that like to post anything we see or even think about without verification, remember that some site are forum-like, even twitter is just like a forum, you post what you like but twitter has a rule called disclaimer making you liable for anything you post meaning in case of litigations, you that post the content will be sued and not twitter or even facebook.
this includes the social media sites, blogs, and the news media that either disseminate fake news or promotes it, thereby influencing public opinion about a presidential candidate like the case of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, this type of offence will be very hard for the average Nigerian blogs to contravene because we are still in the era of influencing elections in Nigeria with bread and Akara, But notwithstanding the sanctions for any media that contravene the bill is a fine not exceeding N10million Naira
this is just a brief summary of the bill which leaves out a lot of other details that I will be bringing in later on as the bill has just passed the second reading and have generated a lot of controversies like it will remove the average Nigerian freedom of speech and expression which I quite agree with under some circumstance and I believe that this bill is not what the senate should be looking at right now because we have bigger problems to solve as country and most of the previous bills that have passed into law are far from being effective.
So watch out for the next post on this controversial bill, where we will look at some other sections of the bill that really calls for concern.