FG seeks Google’s intervention in shutting terrorists off the Internet - Simply News and Entertainment Reports - Nollywood Times


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Saturday, August 6, 2022

FG seeks Google’s intervention in shutting terrorists off the Internet

Image: Global Times Nigeria

The Nigerian Government and Google are forming an alliance to check the excesses of subversive YouTube channels used to spread hate speech and misinformation against the country.

This was revealed in a statement by Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, on Thursday during a courtesy call on him by the Google delegation in Abuja.

Lai Mohammed said he was glad that the FG and Google are concerned about the responsible use of social media.

“We want Google to look into how to tackle the use of private and unlisted YouTube channels and YouTube live streams by criminal groups and terrorist organizations. Channels and emails containing names of criminal groups and their affiliates should not be allowed on Google platforms,” Mohammed said.

The minister revealed that the Tech giant had become a platform of choice for the Indigenous People of Biafra, which he described as a proscribed terrorist group.

Mohammed urged Google to restrict IPOB from using its platform for its acts of violence and destabilization.

He said that with 100 million internet users, Nigeria ranks among the world’s most vibrant social media users.

According to him, internet platforms such as Google, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, and WhatsApp enable Nigerians to interact, share ideas, earn a living and participate in social and political affairs.

The minister, however, observed that unscrupulous persons or groups also use those platforms for subversive and nefarious activities.

Mohammed said the Nigerian Government had recently proposed a “Code of Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries” to provide a framework for collaboratively protecting Nigerian users of Internet platforms.

“This code couldn’t have come at a better time as the country prepares for general elections next year. We are committed to working with platforms like yours as well as the civil society, lawyers, media practitioners, and other relevant stakeholders to ensure responsible use of the Internet and to protect our people from the harmful effects of social media”, he said.

The Google Regional Director (Sub-Saharan Africa, Government Affairs and Public Policy), Charles Murito, said the platform had introduced a programme called “Trusted Flaggers” for citizens trained to track and engage with online content to flag contents of grave concern.

“As I mentioned earlier, we share the same sentiments, we share the same goals and objectives, and we do not want our platform to be used for ill purposes,” he said.

On his part, Google Government Affairs and Public Policy Manager, Adewolu Adene, said “Equiano,” a subsea cable that recently berthed in Nigeria from Portugal, is aimed at enhancing connectivity and access to the Internet as well as driving down the cost of data, to create jobs and facilitate the transfer of knowledge.

He said through the Google News Initiative Challenge, 30 media platforms, with five from Nigeria, including the Dubawa fact-checking platform, would be awarded a $3.2 million grant in recognition of their innovative work in information dissemination.

Adene also pledged the readiness of Google to work with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to digitize the recently-repatriated artifacts to preserve and market them to a global audience through Google Arts and Culture.

Source: punchng.com

#Lai Mohammed

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