The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has clarified that it is not responsible for monitoring the contents of social media platforms.
The statement was made during a recent visit by the National Civil Society Council of Nigeria (NCSCN), which sought the intervention of the commission in curbing the spread of fake news and misleading content on social media platforms.
The commission’s director of public affairs, Mr. Reuben Muoka stated that the role of the telecom regulator is to facilitate the deployment of telecom infrastructure and ensure fair competition and the protection of telecom consumers. The NCC’s mandate includes making services available, accessible and affordable for Nigerians to engage in digital social mediation for the benefit of individuals, businesses and the nation’s socio-economic growth.
Muoka further explained that the commission promotes collaboration and partnerships with different stakeholders to create awareness and promote access to different categories of consumers in the country. The NCSCN, a member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework, commended the commission for its consumer-centric regulatory activities and sought collaboration in spreading messages of the commission’s consumer enlightenment programmes to Nigerians at the grassroots through its over 100 member civil society organisations (CSOs).
Also, the council invited the commission to partner with it in hosting a conference aimed at tackling the seemingly intractable diffusion of fake news, particularly on social media networks.
It is noteworthy that the spread of fake news and misleading content on social media has become a major concern globally. In Nigeria, it has been blamed for fueling hate speech, ethnic and religious conflicts, and even inciting violence.
While the NCC has clarified that it is not responsible for monitoring the contents of social media platforms, it is important that key stakeholders collaborate to curb the spread of fake news and promote credible content on social media platforms.
The role of civil society organisations in this regard cannot be overemphasised and partnerships with regulatory bodies such as the NCC can help to create awareness and promote credible content on social media platforms.