Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said government regulation of social media is not the best way to go, Concise News reports.
Osinbajo also called on religious leaders in Nigeria to not allow social media to be used as an instrument of war, saying it should be self-regulated.
The Vice President said this on Thursday during an interfaith religious dialogue on promoting religious tolerance and acceptance organised by the United Arab Emirate (UAE) Embassy in Abuja.
According to him, social media should be used to promote peace, love and kindness and not hate.
“If we do not want to promote the kind of conflict that can completely go out of hand, we must be sure that we are policing ourselves and regulating ourselves on social media,” he noted.
“I don’t think that government regulation is necessarily the way to go, but I believe that we as persons of faith, as leaders and those of us who use social media actively, owe a responsibility to our society and to everyone else to ensure that we don’t allow it to become an instrument of conflict and war.”
Speaking further, he revealed how news spread via social media that he had resigned as the country’s second in command.
“Recently, I was sharing at a gathering about my aunty, an 81-year-old lady who thought I had resigned,” Osinbajo added.
“Sometime before the elections, the news went around that I had resigned my appointment as Vice-President; the news went round on social media, including WhatsApp.
“My aunt insisted that I had resigned because the news was on WhatsApp. I had to explain to her that I didn’t resign, even if the news was on WhatsApp.
“It was Rev. Sister Agatha who mentioned (in one of the panel discussions today) that if we are not careful, most people are not discerning enough to tell fact from fiction.
“Depending on what it is that you are spreading if you choose to spread the sort of news that can create real conflict and religious misinformation, which is the worst sort, it can create the kind of conflict that can completely get out of hand and jeopardize all of our lives, livelihood and property.
“It is important that we keep self-regulating and ensuring that we don’t lend our platforms to those who would promote conflict.”