Digital News South Africa

Nigeria to regulate online platforms

Online platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Tiktok will be required to register and open offices in Nigeria and appoint contact persons with the government, draft regulations from the information technology development agency show.
Source: © patrick de grijs
Source: © patrick de grijs 123rf

The platforms are popular in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation with more than 200 million people.

The code of practice for "interactive computer service platforms/internet intermediaries" is meant to curb online abuse, including disinformation and misinformation, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) says in the regulations posted on its website.

A statement from the agency's spokesperson dated 13 June says the regulations were developed with input from Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Google and TikTok, among others.

Security and public order

NIDTA said the platforms would be required to provide to users or authorised government agencies relevant information, including for purposing of preserving security and public order.

They would also have to file annual reports to NITDA with the number of registered users in Nigeria, number of complaints received and content taken down due to disinformation and misinformation.

Earlier this year Nigeria lifted a ban on Twitter saying the US-based company had agreed to set up a local office among other agreements with authorities.

Source: Reuters

Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world's largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day.

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