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#EndSARS: Why we refused to shut down social media during protests – FG

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The Federal Government says it refused to shut down social media during the #EndSARS protests to allow freedom of speech and expression.

Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, said this on Monday while featuring on Channels Television’s programme Sunrise Daily. He also commended the Nigerian youths for using social media to push the #EndSARS protests against scrapping of SARS and police brutality.

According to the minister, the government had the option of closing down cyberspace during the protests but refused to do so. Dare said the government respects the constitution and the rule of law, hence the refusal to exercise some level of restraint over cyberspace.

He, however, said the protests brought home the dangers of fake news, adding that the government has a responsibility to make sure that there is a level of control.

Dare said the proposed regulation of social media is to curtail the spread of fake news, urging Nigerians to show some level of responsibility. The minister noted that other countries had taken certain measures to regulate social media but Nigeria refused to do so.

He noted that cyberspace has tremendous benefits to the economy and other sectors, but those that spread fake news to create chaos out of mischief should be severely punished. Dare disclosed that the National Assembly will attend to the proposed regulation of the social media to guard against the spread of fake news.

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