The Regulation of the Right to Freedom of Expression on Social Media in Nigeria

Publication Date : 21/06/2022

Author(s) :

Dare, Olukunmi Jacob.

Volume/Issue :
Volume 3
Issue 1
(06 - 2022)

Abstract :

The issue of whether or not the social media and its use should be regulated has been on the front burner for quite a while all over the world, Nigeria inclusive. This is no doubt connected with the fact that the social media has been one of the greatest avenues where the right to freedom of expression is highly exercised. Recent statistics reveal that there are about 4 billion social media users all over the globe with about 33 million being Nigerians. The social media has been attributed with commendable roles in world’s history, most especially the role it played during the Arab Spring and ENDSARS protests that took place in the Middle-East and Nigeria respectively. As pleasant as its good side is, the social media is not completely devoid of some ills that have plagued it, ranging from misinformation/fake news, cyberbulling, to cyberstalking, etc. These ills, if left unchecked may undermine peace and order in the society. While it is correct that the right to freedom of expression is fundamental and it is a means through which other rights can be enjoyed and articulated, it is agreed in all human rights instruments, both international and national that this right is not absolute. As it stands, Nigeria does not have a legislation in place to regulate the social media, although in the year 2019, “The Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation Bill” was proposed. This work intends to show that there is an imminent need for the regulation of social media in Nigeria in the wake of the extreme uses it has been put to. This will be done by examining the impact of social media in the light of its pros and cons. This work will then examine and recommend ways to balance this right with its regulation on social media.

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