Social media, Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu says his government is working on plans to regulate social media, to curb misconception and abuse.

Tinubu said this at the presentation of a book, ‘Nigerian Public Discourse: The Interplay of Empirical Evidence and Hyperbole’, written by a former Minister of Power, Work and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, in Lagos on Friday, February 9, 2024.

The president, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila, said social media conveyed a lot of fake information, misleading the citizens and hence the need to regulate its usage.

He said: “In the world today, public discourse is driven by alternative facts, dropped with reckless abandon on social media thereby, creating false realities to confuse and deceive people.

“People are living through one of the most fraught periods in modern human history.

“The world is changing all around us. The international settlements underpinning the global order since the end of the Second World War are being renegotiated in real time across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

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“Amidst this global turmoil, we are at home confronted by difficult public policy choices and decisions that must be made to ensure our children’s future and country’s prospects.”

President Tinubu added: “In this historical moment, as we confront and overcome the challenges that threaten our future, we have an obligation as leaders in politics and government to engage in evidence-based discourse and data-reliant decision-making as a matter of course.

“But as citizens interested in the issues of state and governance, the obligation is even more significant to ensure that our engagement with each other springs from a shared agreement on what truth is, what is real, and what isn’t.

“This is a world where nothing is real, politics is fueled by emotive arguments and objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to identity and personal belief.

“In this new world, public discourse is driven by alternative facts, dropped with reckless abandon on social media and technology, including artificial intelligence tools, allowing for the creation of false realities to confuse, deceive people, and distort perceptions of what is real and what isn’t.

“We must because, if we cannot agree on common truths and don’t exist in the same reality, then we cannot develop the shared values and a common purpose that is the central requirement for cohesion and national identity.”

He, however, described the book written by Fashola, a two-term former governor of Lagos State, as a must-read for Nigerian scholars, researchers, and students, among others.

Tinubu said Fashola, in his usual style, approached the subject with an abundance of scholarly rigour bringing his considerable intellect, wealth of experience, and patriotism to a critical subject matter that had been too long ignored.

Also speaking at the event, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, stressed the need to regulate social media.

The Star



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