FG Collaborates With Google To Checkmate Subversive YouTube Channels

FG, Google Collaborate To Checkmate Subversive YouTube Channels - Federal  Ministry of Information and Culture

Richard Ginika Izuora

The Federal Government and Google are collaborating to curb the

excesses of subversive YouTube channels which are used to spread hate

and disinformation against the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who

stated this when a team from Google visited him in Abuja on Thursday,

expressed delight that both the Federal Government and Google shared

the same concern on the responsible use of Social Media.

“We want Google to look into how to tackle the use of private and

unlisted YouTube channels and YouTube livestreams by proscribed groups

and terrorist organizations. Channels and emails containing names of

proscribed groups and their affiliates should not be allowed on Google

platforms,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed, who noted that Google is a platform of choice for

IPOB, a proscribed terrorist group, implored the tech giant to deny

IPOB the use of its platform for its acts of violence and

destabilization.

He said Nigerians are among the most vibrant social media users in the

world, with over 100 million Internet users in the country, and that

internet platforms such as Google, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and

WhatsApp enable Nigerians to interact, share ideas, earn a living and

participate in social and political affairs.

The Minister however observed that those platforms are also used by

unscrupulous persons or groups for subversive and nefarious

activities.

Alhaji Mohammed said the Federal Nigerian Government recently proposed

a “Code of Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/

Internet Intermediaries” in an attempt to provide a framework for

collaboratively protecting Nigerian users of Internet platforms.

“This code couldn’t have come at a better time, as the country

prepares for general elections next year. We are committed to working

with platforms like yours as well as the civil society, lawyers, media

practitioners and other relevant stakeholders to ensure a responsible

use of the Internet and to protect our people from the harmful effects

of social media,” he said.

In his remarks, Google Regional Director, Sub-Saharan Africa,

Government Affairs and Public Policy, Mr. Charles Murito, said the

platform has introduced a programme called “Trusted Flaggers” for

citizens trained to track and engage with online contents in order to

flag contents of serious concern.

“As I mentioned earlier, we share the same sentiments, we share the

same goals and objectives and we do not want our platform to be used

for ill purposes,” he said.

On his part, Google Government Affairs and Public Policy Manager,

Mr. Adewolu Adene, said “Equiano”, a subsea cable which recently

berthed in Nigeria from Portugal, is aimed at enhancing connectivity

and access to the internet as well as to drive down the cost of data,

in order to create jobs and facilitate the transfer of knowledge.

He said through the Google News Initiative Challenge, 30 media

platforms, with 5 from Nigeria, including the Dubawa fact-checking

platform, would be awarded a $3.2 million grant in recognition of

their innovative work in information dissemination.

Mr. Adene also pledged the readiness of Google to work with the

Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to digitize the

recently-repatriated artifacts in order to preserve and market them to

a global audience through Google Arts and Culture.

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