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‘Media has a role to play in checkmating abuse of social media’

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The member representing Ohaozara, Onicha and Ivo Federal Constituency of Ebonyi State in the House of representatives, Hon. Linus Okorie, at the weekend, said the media has a big role to play in curtailing the increasing abuse of social media by users, stressing that the prevalent of hate speeches across the country could be found more on social media.

Okorie, who spoke as a guest lecturer at the grand finale of Correspondent Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ebonyi State’s Press Week, said though social media is of great importance in the world, it has been abused and used as instrument in the promotion of hate speech. He insisted that the media must step up campaign against it.

He said there has been concern of growing hate speeches in the country, perpetuated mostly on social media, with some states of the federation planning to enact laws against the phenomenon.

According to him, “While social media has taken over our lives, creating hells in various ways, including several severe security threat to lives, its benefits in a new world order cannot be wished away. In developed world like China, social media is regulated. You don’t have access to social media beyond what government wants you to see but in many areas, you write and post whatever you want without any regulation and this causes a lot of problems.”

Okorie said social media companies should be encouraged to introduce standards and put in peer review mechanisms.

In his remarks, the state’s Deputy Governor, Dr. Kelechi Igwe, who was represented by his Press Secretary, Mr. Monday Uzor, lamented the increasing growth of hate speeches in the country arising from social media. He noted that it was only on social media that one’s obituary is announced even when the person is hale, hearty and still alive, describing the situation as worrisome.


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