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Twitter ban to multiply misinformation, don warns

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The Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Academic, Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships (ARISP) at Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), Prof. Damilola Olawuyi (SAN), has stressed the importance of keeping all channels of engagement and information with the citizenry open for the government to effectively tackle competitive misinformation and spread of fake news.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who is also co-chairman of the Legal Education Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), stated this while delivering the opening remarks at the Green Institute’s World Environment Day Conference.

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Olawuyi pointed out that one of the most potent threats to peace and sustainable development in a country was the lack of easy access to information relating to the government’s activities and programmes.

He said: “In a quest to actively engage with citizens, government leaders across the world, including Nigeria, have successfully deployed the use of online social networks (OSNs) such as Twitter to provide authentic and readily available information that counter fake news.”

The don went on: “Countries like Canada and the United States even have social media ‘war rooms’ backed with significant budgets, where social media experts actively counter the diffusion of competitive misinformation and fake news about government programmes.

“So, banning Twitter is like inflicting self-harm at a time of great global uncertainty.”

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