Social Media Needs Regulation Against Fake News – Keyamo
Barrister Festus Keyamo, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, has highlighted several strategies to combat the menace of fake news.
Speaking through his special adviser, Niyi Fatogun, at a media workshop titled ‘Balancing Ethics and Patriotism: The Obligations of Journalists to Their Country,’ organized by the Coalition for Good Governance and Economic Justice in Africa, Keyamo emphasized the importance of enacting regulations to regulate and cleanse the social media landscape.
Acknowledging the prevalence and significance of social media in Nigeria, Keyamo stressed the need for comprehensive laws that would effectively address the issue of fake news.
He expressed concerns about the potential harm caused by false information, which can undermine the unity and stability of the nation. To tackle this challenge head-on, Keyamo advocated for the eradication of fake social media accounts as a critical first step.
He said, “Social media has come to stay. Gone are those days when we used to beg editors or be at their mercy to get your views out there,” when an editor decides which story to put there and which story to ignore.
“Today everyone puts their thoughts out uncensored which is a very good thing.
“It is good for mankind. However, we also know that it comes with its own problems.
“We must make sure we don’t kill the good because of the bad. So the best [we can do] is to support the good and mitigate against the bad and ugly.
“Before it was very possible to hold people accountable for fake news. Media houses had professionals who were very responsible…today we have the social media and the gate keepers have become more or less sidelined, so what do we do to mitigate against the bad and ugly?
“You kill fake news by killing fake social media accounts. Secondly, we must make laws that illegalise fake news that are capable of destroying the fabric of the nation.
“Fake news is capable of destroying the fabrics of the nation. Those forwarding such news must also be held liable….such should not be tolerated,” he said.