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Regulating social media to guide youths towards peace building

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  News Analysis Nigeria News Agency Can the social media space be regulated in a way that gives young people the opportunity to release positive energy into society without stifling their voices Experts say it is possible Young people constitute the majority of those who use the space of social networks to interact empower themselves and self realize They have taken advantage of advances in information and communication technology as a means of communication Among the leading social networks in Nigeria are Twitter Facebook and Instagram While young people may have limited political power to advocate for their views they can harness the potential of social media to promote peace in Nigeria Although social networks have their own negative aspects they also have numerous advantages such as facilitating access to mentoring socializing and creativity Through its network mechanisms social networks spread news faster and have a broader reach than conventional media Encourage group participation in discussions and activities on the platform to drive critical information and nurture ideas Young people can take advantage of this unique social environment to spread positive atmospheres such as peace and nation building While many young people have used social media to create wealth education and obtain information and entertainment many have used it to propagate violent behavior and other social vices Experts say the federal government has a role to play in reorienting the culture and orientation of youth social networks from the negative to the positive through proper regulation The government is aware of this as evidenced by Information Alhaji Lai Mohammed In June 2021 while appearing before a public hearing organized by representatives Mohammed called on lawmakers to amend the National Broadcasting Commission NBC law to empower the agency to regulate online and social media The minister said Internet broadcasting and all online media should be included in this because we have a responsibility to monitor content including Twitter Similarly in June the National Information Technology Development Agency NITDA also announced a draft document for the Code of Practice for Internet Intermediary Interactive Computer Service Platforms and Conditions for Operating in Nigeria The code seeks among many others to compel online platforms to provide any supporting information to assist government agencies in investigating and prosecuting users who violate the code s provisions Reinforcing these thoughts Dr Bakut Bakut Director General of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution IPCR said Preventing tomorrow s conflict means changing the mindset of today s youth Bakut who said this while delivering a welcome speech at a conference in Abuja recently said that young people could be redirected to use social media as a tool for peacebuilding According to him young people use social networks more frequently and are more likely to become victims of violence and can also be recruited by extremists The two day conference which was organized in collaboration with the Center for Peace and Strategic Studies of the University of Ilorin CPSS had as its theme Youth social networks and community peacebuilding This is an important issue because technology can be a means by which terrorists recruit young people or a means by which young men and women can help build peace Although young people are crucial actors in peacebuilding they have been excluded from the process and instead are seen as manipulated tools for violent conflict and social unrest he said Bakut recalled the October 2020 EndSARS protest which was organized by largely youth users against police brutality He said it showed that social media was dangerously out of control and a breeding ground for fake news hate speech misinformation and incitement to online riots hence the need to regulate it He said the conference offered opportunities for new ideas to gain youth support for community peacebuilding initiatives and the incorporation of social media especially given current insecurity concerns in Nigeria Prof Sulyman Abdulkareem former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin while corroborating Bakut s view said that regulating social media would curb online abuse and engage young people to promote peace Speaking on the topic Use of social media and its implications in building community peace among young Nigerians he said that regulating social media was the best way to ensure that young people use social media in a positive Represented by Prof AL Azeez Dean of the Faculty of Mass Communication at the University of Ilorin Sulyman said that social networks must be regulated if the recklessness of young people in the use of social network space is drastically reduced How can we get young people to use the media in a positive way empower oneself and at the same time deploy it for the construction of peace The best way is to regulate the social media space Regulation and control of the social media space for reasons of humanity peace and security are ostensibly plausible as such justifications have been invoked in Pakistan Malaysia and India This is why many communication and peace scholars have stepped up their support and agitation for a legal framework to regulate Nigeria s social media space through the Social Media Act he said The former vice chancellor said that social media platforms should be used to facilitate virtual dialogues between stakeholders to achieve peace and security The use and adoption of social networks by young people should aim to promote peaceful coexistence among various ethnic groups Through social media Nigerian youth must build a strong consensus on the issues that affect their lives and well being No significant socioeconomic and human development can take place in a nation where its youth are concerned about sharing divisive and inciting rhetoric on social media the don said Prof Eghosa Osaghae Director General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs NIIA stressed the need to directly involve youth in peacebuilding One of the ways that we can push these kinds of conversations forward in a concrete way in the future would be to invite young people to be part of this kind of discussion he said According to him the Nigerian policy document defines a youth as someone between the ages of 15 and 30 which means that he is in custody and not yet self employed However I will expand that definition to mean that youth is a social category so a youth is whoever a particular person says they are regardless of their age So if you have an awareness of being young or old that is who you are There are people who are 40 years old but already feel old so let it be with them that they are old he said Prof Oyeronke Olademo Director Center for Peace and Strategic Studies University of Ilorin urged adults to use social media platforms to counter negative narratives about youth and the country For me curbing the excesses of young people on social media and redirecting them to peacebuilding requires older people to flood cyberspace with positive narratives This will overwhelm any negative narratives or fake news that young people might spread on these platforms he said Experts say that while it is important to regulate the social media space caution must be exercised in doing so to avoid muzzling the media infringing on freedom of expression and fundamental human rights Characteristic I used the writer s credit and the Nigerian News Agency Source Credit NAN
Regulating social media to guide youths towards peace building

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News Anal

News Analysis, Nigeria News Agency

naija news headlines today

Can the social media space be regulated in a way that gives young people the opportunity to release positive energy into society without stifling their voices? Experts say it is possible.

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Young people constitute the majority of those who use the space of social networks to interact, empower themselves and self-realize.

Facebook and Instagram

They have taken advantage of advances in information and communication technology as a means of communication. Among the leading social networks in Nigeria are Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

While young people may have limited political power to advocate for their views, they can harness the potential of social media to promote peace in Nigeria.

Although social networks have their own negative aspects, they also have numerous advantages, such as facilitating access to mentoring, socializing, and creativity.

Through its network mechanisms, social networks spread news faster and have a broader reach than conventional media.

Encourage group participation in discussions and activities on the platform to drive critical information and nurture ideas.

Young people can take advantage of this unique social environment to spread positive atmospheres such as peace and nation building.

While many young people have used social media to create wealth, education, and obtain information and entertainment, many have used it to propagate violent behavior and other social vices.

Experts say the federal government has a role to play in reorienting the culture and orientation of youth social networks from the negative to the positive through proper regulation.

Lai Mohammed

The government is aware of this, as evidenced by Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

National Broadcasting Commission

In June 2021, while appearing before a public hearing organized by representatives, Mohammed called on lawmakers to amend the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) law to empower the agency to regulate online and social media.

The minister said: “Internet broadcasting and all online media should be included in this because we have a responsibility to monitor content, including Twitter.”

National Information Technology Development Agency

Similarly, in June, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) also announced a draft document for the Code of Practice for Internet Intermediary/Interactive Computer Service Platforms and Conditions for Operating in Nigeria.

The code seeks, among many others, to compel online platforms to provide any supporting information to assist government agencies in investigating and prosecuting users who violate the code’s provisions.

Bakut Bakut

Reinforcing these thoughts, Dr. Bakut Bakut, Director General of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, IPCR, said: “Preventing tomorrow’s conflict means changing the mindset of today’s youth.”

Bakut, who said this while delivering a welcome speech at a conference in Abuja recently, said that young people could be redirected to use social media as a tool for peacebuilding.

According to him, young people use social networks more frequently and are more likely to become victims of violence and can also be recruited by extremists.

Center for Peace and Strategic Studies

The two-day conference, which was organized in collaboration with the Center for Peace and Strategic Studies of the University of Ilorin, CPSS, had as its theme “Youth, social networks and community peacebuilding”.

“This is an important issue because technology can be a means by which terrorists recruit young people or a means by which young men and women can help build peace.

“Although young people are crucial actors in peacebuilding, they have been excluded from the process and instead are seen as ‘manipulated’ tools for violent conflict and social unrest,” he said.

Bakut recalled the October 2020 #EndSARS protest, which was organized by largely youth users against police brutality.

He said it showed that social media was dangerously out of control and a breeding ground for fake news, hate speech, misinformation and incitement to online riots, hence the need to regulate it.

He said the conference offered opportunities for new ideas to gain youth support for community peacebuilding initiatives and the incorporation of social media, especially given current insecurity concerns in Nigeria.

Sulyman Abdulkareem

Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, while corroborating Bakut’s view, said that regulating social media would curb online abuse and engage young people to promote peace.

Speaking on the topic, “Use of social media and its implications in building community peace among young Nigerians,” he said that regulating social media was the best way to ensure that young people use social media in a positive.

Dean of the Faculty of Mass Communication

Represented by Prof. AL Azeez, Dean of the Faculty of Mass Communication at the University of Ilorin, Sulyman said that social networks must be regulated if the recklessness of young people in the use of social network space is drastically reduced.

“How can we get young people to use the media in a positive way; empower oneself and, at the same time, deploy it for the construction of peace? The best way is to regulate the social media space.

“Regulation and control of the social media space for reasons of humanity, peace and security are ostensibly plausible, as such justifications have been invoked in Pakistan, Malaysia and India.

Social Media Act

“This is why many communication and peace scholars have stepped up their support and agitation for a legal framework to regulate Nigeria’s social media space through the Social Media Act,” he said.

The former vice chancellor said that social media platforms should be used to facilitate virtual dialogues between stakeholders to achieve peace and security.

“The use and adoption of social networks by young people should aim to promote peaceful coexistence among various ethnic groups.

“Through social media, Nigerian youth must build a strong consensus on the issues that affect their lives and well-being.

“No significant socioeconomic and human development can take place in a nation where its youth are concerned about sharing divisive and inciting rhetoric on social media,” the don said.

Eghosa Osaghae

Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, Director General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), stressed the need to directly involve youth in peacebuilding.

“One of the ways that we can push these kinds of conversations forward in a concrete way, in the future, would be to invite young people to be part of this kind of discussion,” he said.

According to him, the Nigerian policy document defines a youth as someone between the ages of 15 and 30, which means that he is in custody and not yet self-employed.

“However, I will expand that definition to mean that youth is a social category, so a youth is whoever a particular person says they are, regardless of their age.

“So if you have an awareness of being young or old, that is who you are. There are people who are 40 years old but already feel old, so let it be with them that they are old, ”he said.

Oyeronke Olademo

Prof. Oyeronke Olademo, Director, Center for Peace and Strategic Studies. University of Ilorin, urged adults to use social media platforms to counter negative narratives about youth and the country.

“For me, curbing the excesses of young people on social media and redirecting them to peacebuilding requires older people to flood cyberspace with positive narratives.

“This will overwhelm any negative narratives or fake news that young people might spread on these platforms,” ​​he said.

Experts say that while it is important to regulate the social media space, caution must be exercised in doing so to avoid muzzling the media, infringing on freedom of expression and fundamental human rights. (Characteristic)

Nigerian News Agency

**I used the writer’s credit and the Nigerian News Agency.

Source Credit

Source Credit: NAN

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