A bill seeking to regulate social media has provoked outrage among some Nigerian internet users after it passed second reading at the senate.
The bill entitled, ‘Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation 2019’, passed second reading on Wednesday, after Sani Musa, senator representing Niger east and its sponsor, moved a motion for a debate on the proposed law.
It was however rejected by some Nigerians including celebrities who took to Twitter to express their reservations concerning the bill, especially how it violates their fundamental right of freedom of speech.
Since on Friday, the hashtag #SayNoToSocialMediaBill has remained top of the Twitter trends.
“This Social Media Bill is very worrisome. We’re used to taking everything so lightly. I doubt most of us understand the implications of this if it gets passed. The things I’ve been reading are crazy. Freedom of speech is almost all the power we have left #SayNoToSocialMediaBill,” Simi, Nigerian singer, said.
“This is not a matter of belonging to APC, PDP or SDP. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Yoruba, Hausa, or Igbo. It has nothing to do with you being a Muslim, Christian or Idol worshipper. This is a war against you & I. This is a war against our freedom. #SayNoToSocialMediaBill,” another user said.
Here is what some Nigerians had to say:
This is not a matter of belonging to APC, PDP or SDP.
It doesn't matter whether you are a Yoruba, Hausa, or Igbo.
It has nothing to do with you being a Muslim, Christian or Idol worshipper.
This is a war against you & I.
This is a war against our freedom.#SayNoToSocialMediaBill pic.twitter.com/eTSnv6BcRP
— B h a d o o s k y (@BhadmusAkeem) November 22, 2019
This Social Media Bill is very worrisome. We're used to taking everything so lightly. I doubt most of us understand the implications of this if it gets passed. The things I've been reading are crazy. Freedom of speech is almost all the power we have left #SayNoToSocialMediaBill
— Simi (@SympLySimi) November 22, 2019
No war against the book haram. The only war in Nigeria is the Politicians vs Nigerians. And the politicians are leading by a very very wide margin. #SayNoToSocialMediaBill
— לוציפר (@dareylyon) November 22, 2019
I, Joe Abah, #SayNoToSocialMediaBill. It is a grievous infringement on the Constitutional right to free speech. We must be able to speak our minds, even when we are wrong or mistaken, without fear of intimidation, harassment or incarceration by the State.
— Dr. Joe Abah (@DrJoeAbah) November 22, 2019
our voice is our power and they know this. Infringing on our constitutional right to freedom of expression is an attempt to render us powerlesS
— Korede Belloved (@koredebello) November 22, 2019
The only place our voice is being heard should not be taken away from us. #SayNoToSocialMediaBill
— Nse Ikpe-Etim (@NseIkpeEtim) November 22, 2019
NIGERIANS, OUR REAL ENEMIES ARE THE POLITICAL CLASS. THE LEGISLATURE ESPECIALLY! THIS BILL MUST NOT SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY. OR ELSE WE BECOME SLAVES TO DESPOTS IN AGBADA AND SUITS. #SayNoToSocialMediaBill
— DJINEE (@DJINEE) November 22, 2019
Senator Elisha said “someone sits in his room & makes a post and in a matter of minutes it’s read in America”. His fear of foreign involvement cannot be overemphasised, social media is that one chance we have at telling the world the ills of our society. #SayNoToSocialMediaBill https://t.co/Lqa54dOtM8
— IgboMade (@volqx) November 22, 2019
This man is incompetent, irresponsible, and unfit to be a senator. He is an enemy of the Nigerian people, and clearly has no positive interest in this country.
— Olumide O.G 👽 (@OlumideOG) November 22, 2019
Social media is one of the only places in Nigeria where you can freely speak your mind, but now they want to take that away.
Not surprised senator who slapped that young woman is among those supporting this bill.
— Pastor Ola ✨ (@Biisi96) November 22, 2019
If we protest on ground they call the Police to Shoot us, we complain on Social Media & now they want to Shut Us Down. You cant kill us on ground & shut us down on Social Media #SayNoToSocialMediaBill
— King Nonny 👑 (@Zaddy_nomso) November 22, 2019
We already got a CyberCrimes Act
We already got a Nigerian Communications Act that monitors Internet intermediaries
These two already give the government power to regulate & act on hateful speech & false information.
Why do we need a Social Media Act?#SayNoToSocialMediaBill
— UG (@UgwunnaEjikem) November 22, 2019
-Criticism is NOT terrorism
-Criticism is NOT felony
-Criticism is NOT treason
-Criticism is a Human right#SayNoToSocialMediaBill
— MAYOWA OLAGUNJU ❁ (@iam_doctormayor) November 22, 2019
Out of all the problems in this nation, what people are saying online is what these morons chose to focus on. Smh. #SayNoToSocialMediaBill!!!!
— DemiThaCreator™ 👼 (@demithacreator) November 22, 2019
It's obvious they're looking for a way to suppress the voices that speak up against their mistake,error and bad governance..
— ⚓Sholarh⚖ (@Sholarh_) November 22, 2019
Any Senator who does not come out OPENLY to #SayNoToSocialMediaBill is part of the useless plot. Citizens should be able to know where the legislator representing them stand on issues. Ask your SENATOR to come out boldly and state their stance on this issue.
— Dr. Dípò Awójídé (@OgbeniDipo) November 22, 2019
— Don-PaBLO (@PaBLO1759) November 22, 2019
Good morning ! Hope all is well. Well it’s not. If the social media bill passes law enforcement agencies have the right to shut down internet at any time.This means if we are shouting about something our government is doing.They can TURN OFF our internet! #SayNoToSocialMediaBill pic.twitter.com/5CDw33djsx
— Bolanle Olukanni (@bolanleolukanni) November 22, 2019
How difficult would it have been for this man to call the original posting of this video “Fake news” and get it shut down? But he couldn’t.
That’s why he’s in support of that oppressive bill.
He saw the power we still wield and it terrified him!
— Four-eyed Edo boy™ (@Alex_Houseof308) November 22, 2019
In a system of neglection, oppression , Social media is our only voice !!#SayNoToSocialMediaBill
— Seekthelord1st (@Seekthelord1st_) November 22, 2019
— Iguma Desmond (@hokage_jasber) November 22, 2019
I, Bukky Shonibare, #SayNoToSocialMediaBill.
It's a grievous infringement on the Constitutional right to free speech. We must be able to speak our minds, even when we are wrong or mistaken, without fear of intimidation, harassment or incarceration by the State.
What do you say? https://t.co/PRmif19Hk2
— HERmbassador (@BukkyShonibare) November 22, 2019
Pres. Buhari and the APC govt are the biggest beneficiaries of social media advocacy in Nigeria. They masterminded toxic campaigns targeted against the person of a more accommodating GEJ. They won, and now want to take away the weapon from the citizens. #SayNoToSocialMediaBill
— Ayò Bánkólé (@AyoBankole) November 22, 2019
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