Panellists Harps on the Need For Digital Discipline at KASU Fact-Checking and Digital Rights Youth Conference

By Oluwaseye Ogunsanya

The panellists at the Fact-checking and Digital Rights Youth Conference held at the Kaduna State University (KASU) on Tuesday unanimously agreed on the need to regulate and control social media due to the way it is affecting moral values. 

According to Mrs Bilques Yusuf, a lecturer at the department of Sociology, basic social essentials and values have been lost because of the abuse of social media.

She said “Morality and the Internet cannot go in the same sentence as long as we are not in control of our spaces. The developed world care about their space. We are globalised when it comes to Internet use but we are not when it comes to development. We all have a responsibility not just government and we also need to personal accountability for this. There’s need to control and regulate our Internet because it has done more harm to our mental health”

On his own part Mallam Sani Yusuf said the government should create an awareness and there is also a need for an effective mechanism or system to create the awareness for students to know their limitation of digital rights.

“Awareness needs to be created by critical stakeholders so that misinformation can be reduced to the barest minimum. It should be remphasised over and over again” he added.

Prof. Ayodele Joseph of the department of communication and media studies, decried how the usage of social media in Nigeria is affecting our morality negatively. According to him, “a time has come to regulate the way we use social media in this part of the world.” Prof. Joseph also made a case for the need to create our own search engine where we can control what we have.

However the special adviser to the Kaduna State governor on Students Matters, Mallam Bello Hayatu admitted that the government has done a lot in ensuring that digital discipline is uploaded except that other stakeholders have not agreed on the right approach to implement.

He also agreed that there’s need for awareness creation by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and civil society organisations should change the scope of their advocacy towards seeing NOA create the much needed awareness on tackling misinformation.

In addition, Hayatu said “There are a lot of government agencies saddled with the responsibility of creating awareness about tackling misinformation but they are interested in teaching alone, they are not interested in teaching the people about the dangers of fake news and hate speech. Most of our states don’t have agencies that deal with digital rights. There must be a Ministry of Digital Economy in every state.”

The event which was funded by the United States Department of states and supported by Becera is a continuation of the tour of selected campuses across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria by FactCheckAfrica, the media arm of Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative (BBYDI) is aimed at creating an awareness among students populace on the need to tackle information disorder in Nigeria.

Last week the organisation was at Kwara State University and Federal College of Education (Technical) Gombe State.

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