The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s government will not regulate social media and stifle freedom of expression.
Idris disclosed this on Thursday when he received a team from Google West Africa on a courtesy call.
The Minister believed that it is important to have a platform where people can express themselves freely, but added that freedom comes with enormous responsibility, which should not translate to an avenue for creating anarchy in the country.
He commended the effort to collaborate and find common ground for the regulation of online platforms such that they will not be used against the people they are meant to serve.
Idris disclosed that the federal government will continue to promote freedom of expression, allowing the environment to be accessible for everybody to express themselves and have the right of access to information.
He noted that it is critical that those responsible for bringing out this information or creating the platforms are also very conscious that it can easily be used against the people it is meant to serve.
“We will partner with Google in promoting the free flow of information because democracy cannot survive without freedom of expression,” he said.
He commended Google for its good work and stated that the Ministry would continue to engage with them and others in its category to see that the issue of fake news becomes a thing of the past.
In his remark, the delegation leader from Google West Africa, Mr Olumide Balogun, stated that in the last three years, Google has trained over 3,500 journalists to use different tools for news verification, including digital tools to manage misinformation.
“We have the Google News integration team that helps news organizations across the world, including Nigeria, through what is called “Google Innovation Challenge” to innovate and introduce innovations to news organizations. One of the innovations that we funded, called ‘full fact’ is an AI technology that helps in fact-checking”.
The Google team pledged to support the Ministry by training staff on online skills.