Statistics have proven that there are twenty seven million users of Social Media in Nigeria, and this figure keeps rising on a daily basis. As we all know we are in an information age or perhaps a jet age where information moves like the speed of light from one place to another, which connotes the extent of technological invention and discovery making people live much easier to be informed, giving awareness and being entertained .
Social media belongs to the class of the new media which sprang up not too long ago as part and parcel of deepening democracies around the world that upholds freedom of press and speech as a tool to demand for transparency, accountability and above all good governance in any given democracy.
Trying to view how the government in Nigeria internalise it used of social media shows it is far from exploring the advantageous positions of the social media . The traditional media broadcast such as television and radio news are gradually becoming unpopular unlike the new media which is mobile as you move.
Rather than the government hammering content regulation by various social media outfits should better concern itself with intentional or wilful integration with the new media which provides the basis for the federal government to make known her policies, programmes for the people, and equally engage the citizenry in a participatory manner to be involved by keying into what government is doing that can be beneficial for them as against some shrewd secret practice of running government and disconnecting the people from the real pressing issues of needs that requires attention and action. The continual reactionary approach of government to quickly allude that social media postings or news are all fake should be first and foremost investigated and the source of such information discovered. As most people are aware, social media operate under certain extant rules and boundaries should not be jettisoned or rejected by the government of the day. There is need to manage information and be proactive, not reactive all the times.
Government can be use by the social media to draw attention on issues and create needful orientation and awareness to national values and skills for empowerment.
Freedom of expression confers some responsibilities on social media users. You should question your news feed on how reasonable they are or not, sentimental or not sentimental.
The government is trying to catch up with the jet age, a lot of people are keying into the super jet age. In this jet age government cannot aford to be nocturnal in approach but we expect of them,to be accountable and transparent.
The people must know in exercising their freedom should not spread hate and very divisive tendencies.
Ilukwe Ugochukwu Edward