Social Media and Need for Objective Development of the Nigerian Space
For past couple of years, the social media has become a subject of disagreements and diverse opinions. For some, the use of the social media has caused more harm than good to the cohesion and integration of the Nigerian space, while for others, social media has done good towards ensuring a democratic country.
Be it as it may especially on both divides of the country, there is a need for critical evaluation of different issues especially as they pertain to social media and a multi-diverse country like Nigeria. One of the important consideration is that of governance; the need to make governance more effective, enough that it ensures a sane society and one which helps the yearnings of the people.
For every country, voters want a working system, which must account for their anger when things do not meet their expectations. With allegations of suppression and evidenced suppression during protests, many Nigerians now see the social media as a space to air their opinion devoid of stray bullets or incarceration.
This kind of development usually comes with repercussions, we leave room for fake news to spread and propaganda, sometimes, and major actors in the society are also caught in the web of dangerous speech in a bid to gain undue advantage due to the situation or a bid to deny information which does not favor them.
Leadership comes with a burden and at such; there is a need for the government to admit the shortcomings of governance which spur genuine concerns on social media, some of which become hijacked by forces in the country or even government actors themselves. The earlier the admittance of suppression of physical voices that mobilized people to the social media, the better.
There is also the need for teaching Nigerians about appropriate use of the social media, although many argue that social media is designed to blend to societal situations, we can still invest in an awareness campaign that takes a cogent look at telling people how to express grievances without damage as much and why the social media should be used as a tool for national projection. The work of the government in reshaping ideals on use of the social media remains under question. When a leadership expresses anger, it does not just see the problem, there is a big need to see the gaps needed to be filled and then the solution there-in, we need to ask ourselves if the government and stakeholders have seen such gap and are willing to fill it.
Taking hard decisions does not just curb unwanted situations but a critical look at what berth the hard situation is core, in the instance of the social media usage in Nigeria, even if you control social media companies, you cannot control the typing of people except if authoritarianism will be the new order of the day.
In all of these, it does not mean that we should allow hate speech, dangerous speech to fly continually but we must also reflect on the pointers of failures on part of everyone, either as a government or the people.
When an establishment wants to set certain standards, the standard must be existing or established within the establishment . The sanity and sanctity we fight for on social media, how well do political parties use it appropriately during elections, how well is the social media used by actors when defending an obvious wrong?
Beyond banning or regulating social media platforms, we must look inwards at our own failures and take corrective measures that authorizes us to take punitive measures.