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10
November
2022

Fake News: We’re Closely Monitoring Twitter Under Elon Musk

The federal government has said it is closely monitoring Twitter under the new owner, Elon Musk, to ensure it is not open to fake news that may endanger the peace and security of Nigeria.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, stated this in Abuja on Thursday.

He was speaking at the 3rd edition of the ministerial media briefing to showcase the achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, featuring the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, in Abuja.

Mohammed said even though the government has no plan to ban the micro-blogging site again, it will however not sit by while peddlers of fake news resort to it.

Recall that Nigeria announced the suspension of Twitter operations on June 4, 2021, after it deleted a post by President Buhari for “violation of the company’s abusive behavior policy.”

The government lifted the suspension after 222 days with economists projecting that the nation lost about N546.5 billion from the ban.

Lai Mohammed, who moderated the ministerial briefing, stated: “Before I invite the Honorable Minister of Aviation, please permit me to quickly address an issue that has elicited a lot of inquiries from the media in recent times.

“Many of your colleagues have called to ask us what will become of our agreement with Twitter in view of the change in its ownership. Many have asked for our reaction following reports that there has been a spike in fake news, disinformation, and hate speech since the micro-blogging site changed ownership. Many have even asked us if another ban is in the offing.

“Let me say this: We are closely monitoring the evolving developments at Twitter. It has never been our intention to ban any social media platform or stifle free speech. Not at all. What happened in the case of Twitter is well-known to all.

“Twitter became a platform of choice for those who want to destabilize Nigeria, using fake news, disinformation, and hate speech. No nation will allow any social media platform to plunge it into anarchy. Definitely not Nigeria.

“But we have continued to engage positively with the different social media platforms, including Facebook, Google (owners of YouTube), and Twitter.

“We have no intention of banning any social media platform again. But we will also not sit by and allow any platform whatsoever to throw our nation into crisis.”

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