The Nigerian Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has urged Google to block terrorist organisations from YouTube.
Lai Mohammed who made the request when a team from Google visited him in Abuja on Thursday August 4, listed Biafra Digest TV, Umu Biafra TV, Biafra Digest, Asa Biafra TV as examples of channels that spread subversive information/ contents.
The Minister claimed that some of the channels use local languages during their broadcast to evade being censored.
”We want Google to look into how to tackle the use of private and unlisted YouTube channels and YouTube live streams by proscribed groups and terrorist organisations. Channels and emails containing names of proscribed groups and their affiliates should not be allowed on Google platforms..
“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 destabilisation.
“We hope you will cooperate with us as well as our security agencies in this direction.”
Lai Mohammed also said the government recently proposed a “Code of Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/ Internet Intermediaries”.
The code, according to him, provides 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.”
In his remarks,Google Regional Dir.,Sub-Saharan Africa,Govt. Affairs and Public Policy, Mr. Charles Murito,said the platform has introduced a prog. called “Trusted Flaggers” for citizens trained to track and engage with online contents in order to flag contents of serious concern
“As I mentioned earlier, we share the same sentiments, we share the same goals and objectives and we do not want our platform to be used for ill purposes.”
On his part, Google Government Affairs and Public Policy Manager, Mr. Adewolu Adene, said “Equiano”, a subsea cable which recently berthed in Nigeria from Portugal, is aimed at enhancing connectivity and access to the internet as well as to drive down the cost of data,in order to create jobs and facilitate the transfer of knowledge.
He said through the Google News Initiative Challenge, 30 media platforms, with 5 from Nigeria, including the Dubawa fact-checking platform, would be awarded a $3.2 million grant in recognition of their innovative work in information dissemination.
Mr. Adene also pledged the readiness of Google to work with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to digitize the recently-repatriated artifacts in order to preserve and market them to a global audience through Google Arts and Culture.