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Lai Mohammed asks Google to block terrorist groups on YouTube.

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Ibekimi Oriamaja Reports

The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, has asked Google to block terrorist organizations from YouTube. Lai Mohammed, who made the request when a Google team visited him in Abuja on Thursday August 4, named Biafra Digest TV, Umu Biafra TV, Biafra Digest, and Asa Biafra TV as subversive information/content channels.

According to the Minister, some of the channels broadcast in local languages to avoid being censored.

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He said; ”We want Google to look into how to tackle the use of private and unlisted YouTube channels and YouTube live streams by proscribed groups and terrorist organisations. Channels and emails containing names of proscribed groups and their affiliates should not be allowed on Google platforms..“Your platform is a platform of choice for IPOB, a proscribed terrorist group.“We implore you not to make your platform available to them for their acts of violence and destabilisation.

“We hope you will cooperate with us as well as our security agencies in this direction.” Lai Mohammed also said the government recently proposed a “Code of Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/ Internet Intermediaries”. The code, according to him, provides a framework for collaboratively protecting Nigerian users of Internet platforms. He added; “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 a responsible use of the Internet and to protect our people from the harmful effects of social media.”

In his remarks,Google Regional Dir.,Sub-Saharan Africa,Govt. Affairs and Public Policy, Mr. Charles Murito,said the platform has introduced a prog. called “Trusted Flaggers” for citizens trained to track and engage with online contents in order to flag contents of serious concern He said; “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.”

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Mr. Adewolu Adene, Google Government Affairs and Public Policy Manager, stated that “Equiano,” a subsea cable that recently arrived in Nigeria from Portugal, is aimed at improving connectivity and access to the internet, as well as driving down data costs in order to create jobs and facilitate knowledge transfer.
He stated that the Google News Initiative Challenge would award a $3.2 million grant to 30 media platforms, including the Dubawa fact-checking platform, in recognition of their innovative work in information dissemination.

Mr. Adene also stated that Google is willing to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to digitize the recently repatriated artifacts in order to preserve and market them to a global audience via Google Arts and Culture.

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