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Social Media Bill passes second reading at Senate


Nigeria’s Senate on Wednesday read, for the second time, the bill seeking to regulate the use of Social Media as well as curb fake news on the internet.

The bill, ‘Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations Bill, 2019,’ sponsored by Mohammed Musa was introduced two weeks ago.

The passage of the bill for the second time comes despite many controversies around the bill. Critics say the bill seeks to fight freedom of speech in the country.

However, Musa said the bill does not intend to gag the media but to check the spread of false information on the internet.

Musa proposed N300,000 fine for an individual if found guilty; and up to N10 million for corporate organisations.

Meanwhile, Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu East) opposed the passage of the bill, stating that the bill was completely unnecessary given the provisions of the Cyber Crimes Act.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Judiciary. The committee was asked to report back after four weeks.

As part of its work, the committee is expected to conduct a public hearing on the bill.

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