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It Is Impossible To Regulate Social Media In Nigeria – Joel Popoola

Muhammadu Buhari

Muhammadu Buhari

Popular techpreneur, Mr. Joel Popoola has come out to explain the implications of plans to regulate social media.

He recently revealed that the move could end up being counterproductive, so the government must be very careful.

According to him, it is impossible to regulate social media and those proposing it should think deeply about how police can possibly keep track of 44 million Nigerian Facebook accounts, 24 million WhatsApp accounts, and 40 million Twitter accounts.

He added that Nigerian leaders are used to being able to shut down protests or criticism, but the youths have finally woken up.

His words, “In the wake of #EndSARS protest, Federal Government is proposing to regulate social media. Northern governors even supported the calls recently… I do not think it is possible to regulate social media, let alone desirable. Those proposing social media regulation need to ask themselves three questions. First, do you think police can really keep track of 44 million Nigerian Facebook accounts?

And 24 million WhatsApp accounts? And 40 million Twitter accounts? And do it 24 hours a day 365 days a year? If you do, you’re wrong. Second, do you think protestors will stop protesting simply because they can no longer tweet their grievances? If you do, you’re wrong. Third, do you think really that protestors will not just come up with a new way of communicating and co-coordinating? If you do, you’re wrong.

The #EndSARS protest has revealed a generation of protestors that is ingenious and digitally savvy. Don’t think they won’t outwit you. Nigerian leaders are used to being able to shut down protests or criticism.

In the digital age, it just isn’t possible. If we continue down this path it is to see a sequence of events in which a likable, credible young Nigerian from a good family ends up in prison for liking a tweet by mistake. Can you imagine the international condemnation and national humiliation we would be bringing on ourselves? The answer instead is taking advantage of social media to communicate and engage better and to build trust between people and politicians.”


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