NITDA set rules for Facebook, Twitter, othersNIT

The Nigerian Government has set new rules for social platforms providers, in its bid to combat user-generated content that are harmful to society.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Monday issued the new regulations.

Hadiza Umar, spokesperson for NITDA, said the new code was designed to protect the “fundamental human rights of Nigerians and non-Nigerians living in the country as well as define guidelines for interacting on the digital ecosystem.”

The code requires Internet platforms to “register with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and appoint a designated country representative to interface with Nigerian authorities.”

The providers are required to comply with all regulatory demands and meet all tax obligations under Nigerian law.

On content moderation, NITDA said Internet platforms must “provide a comprehensive compliance mechanism to avoid publication of prohibited contents and unethical behaviour on their platform.”

They must also “provide information to authorities on harmful accounts, suspected botnets, troll groups, and other coordinated disinformation networks and deleting any information that violates Nigerian law within an agreed time.”

NITDA said the new rules were “developed in collaboration with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), as well as input from Interactive Computer Service Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Google, and Tik Tok amongst others.

“Other relevant stakeholders with peculiar knowledge in this area were consulted such as Civil Society Organizations and expert groups. The results of this consultations were duly incorporated into the Draft Code of Practice.”

The draft Code of Practice notes that Internet platforms must promptly obey court orders directing it to provide “information under its domain or any assistance to any authorised government.”

The Nigerian Government follows in footsteps of the EU, which recently promulgated the Digital Services Act. The Act The Digital Services Act would force Meta, Google and other social media platforms providers to combat misinformation and restrict certain online ads.