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The Federal Government of Nigeria has called on Google to shut down the YouTube channels belonging to the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB saying that such platforms are used to spread terror messages.
The Eastern Updates reports that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, anchored its call on the fact that IPOB is a proscribed organisation.
Mohammed made the call while receiving a team of Google officials on Thursday in Abuja.
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He listed such channels to include Biafra Digest TV, Umu Biafra TV, Biafra Digest, and Asa Biafra TV.
The minister lamented that some of these channels use local languages and dialects during their broadcast to evade being censored.
‘Your platform is a platform of choice for IPOB, a proscribed terrorist group.
‘We implore you not to make your platform available to them for their acts of violence and destabilization.
‘We hope you will cooperate with us as well as our security agencies in this direction,’ he said.
The Minister noted that Nigerians are among the most vibrant social media users in the world, with over 100 million Internet users in the country, and that internet platforms such as Google, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and WhatsApp enable Nigerians to interact, share ideas, earn a living and participate in social and political affairs.
The Minister however observed that those platforms are also used by unscrupulous persons or groups for subversive and nefarious activities.
Mohammed said the Nigerian Government recently proposed a ‘Code of Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/ Internet Intermediaries,’ in an attempt to provide a framework for collaboratively protecting Nigerian users of Internet platforms.
‘This code couldn’t have come at a better time, as the country prepares for general elections next year. We are committed to working with platforms like yours as well as the civil society, lawyers, media practitioners and other relevant stakeholders to ensure a responsible use of the Internet and to protect our people from the harmful effects of social media,’ he said.
In his remarks, Google Regional Director, Sub-Saharan Africa, Government Affairs and Public Policy, Mr. Charles Murito, said the platform has introduced a programme called ‘Trusted Flaggers” for citizens trained to track and engage with online contents in order to flag contents of serious concern.