In an effort to tackle hate speech and fake news on the Social Media, the Niger state government has engaged young social media influencers on desirability of promoting peaceful coexistence and harmonious relationship among diverse groups and citizens in the state.
The Senior Special Assistant to Governor of Niger State on New and Digital Media, Yusuf Muawiyyah made the disclosure when he hosted members of the Niger State Social Media Group to an interactive engagement in his office in Minna.
The Social Media Aide said as Nigeria enters electioneering period, the traditional Media and online bloggers must observe the ethical standards in promoting democratic ethos and better understanding among the citizens in the country.
Muawiyyah said: “As we are approaching the electioneering period, the editors of the traditional media and social media influencers must do everything professionally to promote democracy and free speech not only in Niger State but in the country.
“We should guard against inciting contents, and provocative statements create conflicts among our people. We must in fact learn to express our grievances and criticisms responsibly without resorting to gutter or vulgar language.”
“As you all know hate speech refers to speech acts that insult people for their religion or their ethnic or linguistic affiliation. It is about expressing contempt against people because of their place of origin or gender or alternatively, desecrating their symbols of cultural or religious practices.
“We should therefore discourage the spreading of falsehood and rumour that demeans, demonizes, maligns or otherwise ostracizes other people based on their origins and belief.
Earlier in his remarks, Yahya Yakubu who spoke on behalf of the Social Media Group in Niger State said their members would ensure that they adhere to the professional ethics of journalism in their social media engagement
Yakubu said: “As a group of social media advocates, we have devolved some strategies to encourage best practices well we also have sanctions for erring members in our effort to ensure adequate and truthful information in our engagement with the public.
“We call on the state government to invest in digital media as it is an area that needs serious attention in mobilising the citizens towards great causes.”