The Nigerian government has announced new regulations for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other internet platforms operating in the country.
This comes after Nigeria lifted its Twitter ban in the country. Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) released the regulations five months after a six-month ban on Twitter. The giant social media platform was banned in the country last year after it removed a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari’s account with regard to freedom of expression in Africa.
According to The Guardian, the new regulations imposed on the social media giants will ensure that the digital ecosystem is safe for “Nigerians and non-Nigerians” living in the country.
“The guidelines were developed in collaboration with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), as well as input from Interactive Computer Service Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Google, and Tik Tok amongst others,” NITDA said.
Five of the rules that the Nigerian government is imposing on the social media platforms as per The Guardian include:
- Nigerian office in the first quarter of 2022
- Appointment of a country representative
- Compliance with applicable tax obligations
- Nigeria to have access to manage ‘prohibited’ content
- Respect for Nigerian laws and the national culture and history
Twitter, the controversial social media platform, apparently had to agree to these five conditions before its ban was lifted. Other social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Google have reportedly agreed to the conditions.
The Nigerian government said that the social media platforms should comply with the new regulations in order to continue operating in the country.
The code also said that the platforms should provide information on harmful accounts including a comprehensive compliance mechanism to avoid the publication of prohibited content and unethical behaviour on their platforms.
“Other relevant stakeholders with peculiar knowledge in this area were consulted such as Civil Society Organizations and expert groups. The results of these consultations were duly incorporated into the Draft Code of Practice,” NITDA spokesperson Hadiza Umar said.
By Zintle Nkohla
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