The activities of Nigerians on the social media are now being monitored for hate speech, anti-government and anti-security information by the military.
The Director of Defence Information, Major-General John Enenche, announced this on a Channels Television programme in Abuja. Maj-Gen Enenche said that such close-marking has become necessary because of troubling activities and misinformation propagated on social media which are capable of jeopardizing the unity of Nigeria.
Maj-Gen Enenche’s comments were made less than two days after President Muhammadu Buhari’s national broadcast in which he said that some of the discussion on social media in his absence crossed the line and left him distressed.
“It is a double-edged sword and we are also having a bit of it,” Maj-Gen Enenche said on Channels Television’s News At 10, last night.
“Imagine when the President came back and addressed the nation, not up to 30 minutes later, a fake speech of the Commander-In-Chief was being circulated in order to do what? To derail the people. If you are not very sharp and if you didn’t listen to the speech or you don’t have a copy of it like I had it almost immediately, you wouldn’t know. So, looking at it from that perspective, it is a challenge everywhere.”
Having observed the possibility that the social media can be misused the military has taken steps to address that. One of such steps is the establishment of strategic media centres.
“What are we doing? In the military, we are now taking on it more seriously than ever. We have our strategic media centres that monitor the social media to be able to sieve out and react to all the ones that will be anti-government, be anti-military, (and) be anti-security,” the military chief continued.
“We tackle them appropriately with appropriate responses. Ahead of that, we are also proactive. We have measures in place, scientific measures to be able to sieve this information and also to get the public and let them know that some of this information they are getting is not genuine are not true and their objective is an anti-corporate existence of this country.”
Maj-Gen Enenche insisted that social media has always been a challenge all over the world and for the military, it is no different.