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Despite public outcry, bill to regulate social media passes 2nd reading at Senate

Nigerians kicked against the controversial bill after its first reading, but the public outcry hasn't stopped its progress.

Nigerian lawmakers are making efforts to address the issue of fake news and hate speech in the country. [Sahara Reporters]

Despite the criticism it attracted when it was first introduced to the upper legislative chamber of the National Assembly, the bill on Wednesday, November 20, 2019, passed the second reading with the support of majority of the lawmakers.

The Cable reports that the bill passed the second reading after its sponsor, Sani Musa, senator representing Niger East, moved a motion for a debate on the proposed law.

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According to Channels, only one lawmaker, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani, opposed the bill.

During the debate, Nnamani was said to have argued that there is legislation in the country namely the Cyber Crimes Act, which already addresses internet falsehood.

The red chamber directed its committee on judiciary to work on the bill and return in four weeks.

If passed into law, the bill seeks to prevent falsehoods, manipulations, and counter the effects of such communications and transmission to sanction offenders with a view of encouraging and enhancing transparency by social media platforms using the internet correspondences.

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