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Senate holds public hearing on social media bill Monday



The Senate will conduct the public hearing on the anti-social media bill currently before the lawmakers on Monday.

A copy of invitation letters sent out to stakeholders, and seen by journalists on Sunday revealed that the public hearing will hold at one of the Senate halls by 10:00 a.m.

The bill which was Senator Musa Sani from Niger State was referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on November 20 last year for further legislative input.

The panel is chaired by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele.

The proposed legislation – officially named the Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation Bill 2019 – would allow the Nigerian government to cut off internet access or block specific social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter at its own discretion.

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However, critics of the bill have argued it could gag free speech.

They also claimed the language of the bill would help to create vague criminal offenses that would allow the authorities to prosecute peaceful criticism of the government.

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