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Senate proposes 3-year jail sentence for social media violators

The Senate has reintroduced the bill to regulate social media in Nigeria with three-year imprisonment for violators.

The Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations Bill 2019 was one of the 11 bills read at the plenary yesterday.

The sponsor of the bill, which had passed the first reading, said in an interview with journalists that Nigeria needed the legislation because it would protect its “fragile unity”.

He said: “It is not to stop people from going into the Internet to do whatever they feel legitimate is okay to do but what we felt is wrong is for you to use the medium to document information that you know is false, just because you want to achieve your desirable interest.”

He said the bill proposed a punishment of N150,000 fine or three years imprisonment for any offender.

“If it is a corporate organisation that refused to block that false information despite the fact that they have been alerted by authorities not to disseminate that information for public interest and they still go ahead and do it, refusing to do that blockage will be penalised between N5 million to N10 million for those organisations.

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