The Institute for Media and Society (IMS) has organised a virtual town hall meeting on Critical issues of Information Integrity in Nigeria.
While giving an opening remark, Dr Akin Akingbulu, Executive Director of IMS, explained that the town-hall meeting is an activity on a Right to Information project executed by the IMS to address challenges of information integrity circulation, integrity and safety.
Discussing the topic “Post 100 days of Twitter Ban: Way Forward for Digital Rights Activists?” It was noted that Twitter was banned because the government alleged that it has become a platform for weaponising fake news against Nigeria.
Bukola Balogun, a participant at the event, said there are creative means of solving the problem without violating the rights of the people.
Government can employ technology to solve the problem if it is willing to reach out to those with such solutions.
The participants stressed that if Twitter were not playing a role in the digital space, the government would not have considered banning it.
It was noted that trends on Twitter have a way of getting to the government such that government responds. Therefore, it appears to be a handy tool, not just for activism but for general information dissemination and for businesses.
Despite the ban, citizens have found alternatives to use Twitter, making the purpose likely defeated.
Extending the discussion to the ongoing shut down of telecommunication services in Zamfara and some parts of Kaduna to fight terrorism, another participant, Dr Oyedele Obasanjo said that citizens don’t have to choose between freedom of expression and security.
Participants identified ways government can do all of these things without violating people’s rights, without denying people technology.
It was identified that government can leverage the power of information and information technology and other kinds of technology to achieve what it wants to achieve without violating people’s rights.
Government should find a more humane means of solving security problems without violating people’s rights.