In a world where the man, far in the deep regions of Odogbolu, Nigeria, now has the access to every and anyone, basking in the bright beauty of an American summer, or enjoying the perfection of the Ohio autumn; via the instrumentality of social media, I think the world indeed is quite smaller than we had thought. It, however, has come to a place of being more than small, rather Lilliputian, so much so that there are no more private corners in our life, as most social media have a second-to-second detailed autobiography on their various social networking platforms. This exposes more people to the rising dangers that come with a hyper active and detailed social media account. Little wonder why countries have started devising means to curb and mitigate the negative effects of an active social media account via the so-called SOCIAL MEDIA REGULATION LAWS.
According to a report provided by the Reporters Without Borders in 2014, 14 countries were typically named Enemies of the Internet. This is founded on no far-fetched reason than their recent legislations and governmental policies which have been seen to be quite anti-social media. While some seem to be merely regulatory, others have been a total shut down. Here are some the countries.
The Egyptian Supreme Council for Media Regulations (SCMR) has been saddled with the ultimate responsibility to place people with more than 5,000 followers on social media or with a personal blog or website under supervision. More than 500 websites have already been blocked in Egypt prior to the new law, enacted in 2018.
China owns the greatest amount of legislation in the world. According to statistics, the NPC of China, the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China, and the State Council Information Office and 14 other departments had published more than 60 laws relating to internet regulation.
Despite the United States’ ardent advocacy for the protection of Freedom of Speech, reliable source shows that the accidental exposure of Janet Jackson’s nipple during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXVIII led to the passage of the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005.
North Korea, on the other hand, has entirely closed off the use of social media. Reasons for this range from incessant online abuse, cyberbullying, online child sexual exploitation, fraud, impersonation and so on.
In a research carried out on Facebook and twitter, report held that 60% of respondents had come across inappropriate or harmful content online, whilst 41% said that they had experienced cyber bullying.
In Nigeria, the first Anti-Social Media Bill was passed in 2015, though later ousted due to the thought of its tendency to deprive the Freedom of Speech. However, the ghost of the outcast bill is back in the form of a social media regulation bill which is already at the second reading stage in the upper house of assembly.
Other laws exist in Turkey, the European Union (who have replaced media laws for competition laws), Norway and the United Kingdom.
In my opinion, Social media need to be regulated from hate speeches and peace distorting contents.
By Olalekan Temidayo, Content Writer at DigiLaw