Not news that the #SocialMediaBill introduced by Senator Sani Musa titled Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation Bill 2019 (SB 132), has seen boiling tempers and wagging tongues. However, has it stopped the suspicious transmission of this bill to the proverbial next level?
Nigerians were thrown off as the Bill which promises various degree of punishment for defaulters passed its first reading. While at that, Senator Uche Ekwunife of Anambra State mentioned that she and her mates will not allow the bill to move to the next stage.
However, at the second hearing, Dr Chimaroke Nnamani of Enugu State was the only Senator that opposed this bill which seeks the right by law for the government to shut down the internet when it is deemed an affront to national security.
The problem is that a lot of governments across the world have used bills and laws like this to target opposition and dissenting voices. How do you define hate speech? Whose duty is it to determine what a hate speech is? Nigerians think that the moment the nation makes this bill a law, it ceases to become a Democracy.
As Nigerians online and beyond kick back against this bill, here are few of the important comments and arguments against the bill.
A Twitter user went further to provide the contact details of the 109 Nigerian Senators.
Mr Dipo warned South West Senators not to be part of the conspiracy looking to pass the Anti Social Media Bill in the Country.
Mr Bhadmus seeks inter-party, inter-tribal and inter-faith coalition and cooperation to #SayNoToSocialMediaBill.
With anger, Nigerian social media users condemn a Senator, Elisha Abbo, for supporting the bill openly.
Part of the provisions of the bill is the right by law to turn off internet access to an area if what the government considers as hate speech comes from the area/region.
Looks like a lot more people feel this is a gag on free speech.