Nigerian government releases proposals to regulate social media platforms

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The government has issued new guidelines for the operation of multinational social media companies in the country, including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and other platforms.

Spokesperson for the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Hadiza Umar, said the new code was designed to protect the “basic human rights of Nigerians and non-Nigerians living in the countries, as well as to define guidelines for interacting on the digital ecosystem”.

Online platforms will be required to register and open offices in Nigeria and appoint government contact persons, according to the IT development agency’s draft regulations. In addition, NITDA said the platforms would be required to provide users or authorized government agencies with information relevant to the preservation of security and public order.

Nigeria suspended Twitter in June 2021 for several months after the social media network deleted a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari. As a result, the government said it would speak to a Twitter panel to come up with a set of terms for them to operate in the country.

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