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Policy makers, Industry Heads Advocate Positive Use of Social Media, as Obietan Launches Book on Cyber Politics

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Social media provides a platform for individuals to express their opinions and ideas freely but it should be used to produce responsible content and prevent harmful content from being circulated.

This was the view of speakers at the
the launch of “Cyber Politics: Social Media, Social Demography and Voting Behaviour in Nigeria” , a book written by the Head of Media Relations at the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Dr Omoniyi Ibietan.

Speaking at the official presentation of the book, recently held in Abuja, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas said the book would spur the youth and the general public back to the reading culture.

The Speaker who was represented by the House Leader, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, described the book as a masterpiece while he lauded Dr. Ibietan for his astute delivery of the book for politicians and academic scholars.

He thanked Dr. Ibietan for provoking a new line of thought in the journey to enduring democracy and recommended the book for the general public.

‘‘Though, I am yet to read the book, but with what I have heard many people say about it, it’s a masterpiece. So, I will like to thank the author for writing such a masterpiece”, he said.

Chairman of the occasion and a Nigerian Politician, Frank Nweke Jr in his remarks commended the Author of the book for elevating public discuss on cyber politics and the impact of social media in election processes.

Nweke acknowledged the opportunity provided by social media but expressed worry over its adverse impact on the society, noting that the issues about fake news and their potential, not just to undermine, libel and slander people but to precipitate conflict.

He harped on the need for government and professional associations to consistently work on to ensure that the society is protected from such hazards.

Nweke Jr. advised that government should regulate the social media, in order not to undermine the right of people on the social space.

According to him ‘‘All these things are real, people lose their lives, for someone to make one negative comment and it spreads like wide fire.

“In every democracy, people reserve the right to express themselves freely, but that has to be done in a manner it does not infringe on the right of others”.

Describing Dr. Ibietan as a very bright and qualitative personality, Nweke commended him for elevating public discuss on cyber politics and the impact of social media in election process

Also, presenting the book, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, stressed the need to ensure a responsible way of using the social media to do politics.

‘‘The social media has come to stay but it is the duty of the people to use social media responsibly. Network enormity has become a source of concern and the way and manner we resort to inflammatory and defamatory content to denigrate our political opponents do not add value to the political process”, he said.

The NCC EVC recognized the Author for efforts invested into the publication of the book, adding that the book has exposed the intellectual capacity of DR. Ibietan.

Giving more insight into his book, the author, Dr. Ibietan said the book x-rayed social behaviours of Nigerians, how they used social media to interact and how social media, shaped the 2015 general elections, in the use of social technology in the election.

He explained that Nigerians are not only consumers of technology, but apply them in context that gives meaning.

“As a nation, communication is primordial with man, shaping our lives and businesses and so, it is the most central aspect of politics. There is a sense in which we relay using social technology that may be injurious to the beautiful society we are trying to create.

‘‘One other thing we looked at is the role of historical media, the fact that we have social media, does not mean the historical media is dead. Because what we found is that people also fed in the historical media and took those things back onto the social media space”, Ibietan said.

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