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Education, digital literacy panacea for hate speech- Stakeholders

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Some panelists at the ongoing Social Media Week have called for education and digital literacy to curb the issue of hate speech in the country.


The panelists were discussing the theme ‘Defining and Regulating Hate Speech: Impacts on Audience Needs and Retention’.

Mr Cheta Nwanze of SBM Intelligence said that it was the responsibility of the user to determine how educated the society was.

According to Nwanze the better educated a society is the better the people understand how words should be used.

He said through digital education the society would be able to define the difference between ventilating their minds and what was truly a hate speech.

Adaora Ikenze, Head, Africa Public Policy, Anglophone West Africa, Facebook, said that it paid to make sure that people were aware of community standard.

Ikenze said that digital literacy, education and citizenship were requirements for maturity on Facebook.

She said that there was need to be responsible and accountable as users and to be mature about the comment one made on Facebook.

According to her, beyond making policy on education there was need to fix our education system so that the younger generation could be more responsible on social media.

Ikenze said that there was Artificial Intelligence system designed to track and take down words that were not allowed.

Morayo Afolabi-Brown, a Content Creator, said that the country’s democracy was still young, therefore, we must be sensitive about what we communicate to the public.

Afolabi-Brown said that “the issue we have with hate speech is the issue with ourselves not the speech itself.

“We need to strengthen our democratic process, what we need is beyond making laws against hate speech.

“It is going back to the root that needs to be fixed not so much as making laws,’’ she said.

Abike Dabiri, Chairman, Chief Executive of Nigeria in Diaspora Commission, represented by Dipo Odebowale, said that for every freedom there was a responsibility attached.

She said that there was need for balance and that the country did not have the problem of hate speech but if not regulated could create a problem.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the week-long social media week is tagged #Unboxing.

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Edited By: Abigael Joshua/Donald Ugwu



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Olawale Olukoga: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng