Social media companies operating in or who wish to operate in Africa’s largest country Nigeria will be required to register, open offices in Nigeria as well as appoint contact persons with the government. The new development came in a draft published on the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) website. The government agency also shared an excerpt about the development via its Twitter account.
Called the code of practice for interactive computer service platforms/internet intermediaries, the draft contained four objectives. They are; Set out best practices required of Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries, Set out best practices that will make the digital ecosystem safer for Nigerians and non-Nigerians in Nigeria, Set out measures to combat online harms such as disinformation and misinformation and Adopt and apply a co-regulatory approach towards implementation and compliance. This code of practice aims to nib practices like online bullying, the dissemination of misinformation, etc., in the bud.
According to a NITDA spokesperson, the regulations contained in the code of practice were developed with collaboration from social media titans including Twitter, Meta (which owns Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram), TikTok, and Google, etc. The government agency also said that these social media platforms are required to provide users and authorized government bodies with relevant information upon request. Such information can also be given out when it has to do with keeping public order and securing citizens.
Also, these platforms are to file annual reports to NITDA. This report will contain the number of registered users in the country, the number of complaints that such a platform received within the specified time frame, and the content that was removed when found to be misinformation or harmful.
The development follows after the ban on micro-blogging platform Twitter was lifted after the company agreed to the government terms which included setting up local offices.
Source: TechBooky Business