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Nigeria is working on a law that could hinder use of social media


The Federal Government of Nigeria is working on a law that could overwhelmingly affect the consumption of social media in a country that’s among the most tech-savvy in Africa.

The Code of Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries was introduced earlier this week by the country’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

Among sections that have raised debate is one directing how platforms with more than 100,000 users should operate. Termed as Interactive Service Platforms, such social media platforms would need to register as legal appoint country representatives, and more notably, “provide information to the Nigerian government on harmful accounts, troll groups, and deleting all information that violates Nigerian law”.

Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries are defined as “electronic medium or site where services are provided by means of a computer resource and on-demand and where users create, upload, share, disseminate, modify, or access information, including websites that provide reviews, gaming platform, online sites for conducting commercial transactions.”

The proposed law comes just a few months after the Nigerian government lifted a seven-month ban slapped on microblogging website, Twitter.

The NITDA said that the draft law was developed in conjunction with Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission(NBC). The Authority further claims that it got input from platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Google, and TikTok.

Nigeria is among the five leading countries in Africa with a vibrant technology ecosystem.

Across the continent, efforts to put in place a regulatory framework for the rapidly-growing technology landscape. In Kenya, a controversial regulation that seeks to regulate the ICT sector was recently passed by Parliament.

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