Facebook keeps policy protecting political ads | ABS-CBN News

ad
Facebook logos are seen on a screen in this picture illustration taken Dec. 2, 2019. Johanna Geron, Reuters/file

SAN FRANCISCO — Defying pressure from Congress, Facebook said on Thursday that it would continue to allow political campaigns to use the site to target advertisements to particular slices of the electorate and that it would not police the truthfulness of the messages sent out.

The stance put Facebook, the most important digital platform for political ads, at odds with some of the other large tech companies, which have begun to put new limits on political ads.

Facebook’s decision, telegraphed in recent months by executives, is likely to harden criticism of the company heading into this year’s presidential election.

Political advertising cuts to the heart of Facebook’s outsize role in society, and the company has found itself squeezed between liberal critics, who want it to do a better job of policing its various social media platforms, and conservatives, who say their views are being unfairly muzzled.

The issue has raised important questions regarding how heavy a hand technology companies like Facebook — which also owns Instagram and the messaging app WhatsApp — and Google should exert when deciding what types of political content they will and will not permit.

By maintaining a status quo, Facebook executives are essentially saying they are doing the best they can without government guidance and see little benefit to the company or the public in changing.

In a blog post, a company official echoed Facebook’s earlier calls for lawmakers to set firm rules.

“In the absence of regulation, Facebook and other companies are left to design their own policies,” Rob Leathern, Facebook’s director of product management overseeing the advertising integrity division, said in the post. “We have based ours on the principle that people should be able to hear from those who wish to lead them, warts and all, and that what they say should be scrutinized and debated in public.”

Other social media companies have decided otherwise, and some had hoped Facebook would quietly follow their lead. In late October, Twitter’s chief executive, Jack Dorsey, banned all political advertising from his network, citing the challenges that novel digital systems present to civic discourse. Google quickly followed suit with limits on political ads across some of its properties, though narrower in scope.

Reaction to Facebook’s policy broke down largely along party lines.

The Trump campaign, which has been highly critical of any attempts by technology companies to regulate political advertising and has already spent more than $27 million on the platform, largely supported Facebook’s decision not to interfere in targeting ads or to set fact-checking standards.

“Our ads are always accurate so it’s good that Facebook won’t limit political messages because it encourages more Americans to be involved in the process,” said Tim Murtaugh, a spokesman for the Trump campaign. “This is much better than the approaches from Twitter and Google, which will lead to voter suppression.”

Democratic presidential candidates and outside groups decried the decision.

“Facebook is paying for its own glowing fake news coverage, so it’s not surprising they’re standing their ground on letting political figures lie to you,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren said on Twitter.

Warren, who has been among the most critical of Facebook and regularly calls for major tech companies to be broken up, reiterated her stance that the social media company should face tougher policies.

The Biden campaign was similarly critical. The campaign has confronted Facebook over an ad run by President Donald Trump’s campaign that attacked Joe Biden’s record on Ukraine.

“Donald Trump’s campaign can (and will) still lie in political ads,” Bill Russo, the deputy communications director for Biden, said in a statement. “Facebook can (and will) still profit off it. Today’s announcement is more window dressing around their decision to allow paid misinformation.”

But many Democratic groups willing to criticize Facebook had to walk a fine line; they have pushed for more regulation when it comes to fact-checking political ads, but they have been adamantly opposed to any changes to the ad-targeting features.

On Thursday, some Democratic outside groups welcomed Facebook’s decision not to limit micro-targeting, but still thought the policy fell short.

“These changes read to us mostly as a cover for not making the change that is most vital: ensuring politicians are not allowed to use Facebook as a tool to lie to and manipulate voters,” said Madeline Kriger, who oversees digital ad buying at Priorities USA, a Democratic super PAC.

Other groups, however, said Facebook had been more thoughtful about political ads than its industry peers.

“Facebook opted against limiting ad targeting, because doing so would have unnecessarily restricted a valuable tool that campaigns of all sizes rely on for fundraising, registering voters, building crowds and organizing volunteers,” said Tara McGowan, chief executive of Acronym, a non-profit group that works on voter organization and progressive causes.

Facebook has played down the business opportunity in political ads, saying the vast majority of its revenue came from commercial, not political, ads. But lawmakers have noted that Facebook ads could be a focal point of Trump’s campaign as well as those of top Democrats.

Facebook’s hands-off ad policy has already allowed for misleading advertisements. In October, a Facebook ad from the Trump campaign made false accusations about Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. The ad quickly went viral and was viewed by millions. After the Biden campaign asked Facebook to take down the ad, the company refused.

“Our approach is grounded in Facebook’s fundamental belief in free expression, respect for the democratic process and the belief that, in mature democracies with a free press, political speech is already arguably the most scrutinized speech there is,” Facebook’s head of global elections policy, Katie Harbath, wrote in the letter to the Biden campaign.

In an attempt to provoke Facebook, Warren’s presidential campaign ran an ad falsely claiming that the company’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, was backing the reelection of Trump. Facebook did not take the ad down.

Criticism seemed to stiffen Zuckerberg’s resolve. Company officials said he and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s president, had ultimately made the decision to stand firm.

In a strongly worded speech at Georgetown University in October, Zuckerberg said he believed in the power of unfettered speech, including in paid advertising, and did not want to be in the position to police what politicians could and could not say to constituents. Facebook’s users, he said, should be allowed to make those decisions for themselves.

“People having the power to express themselves at scale is a new kind of force in the world — a Fifth Estate alongside the other power structures of society,” he said.

Facebook officials have repeatedly said significant changes to its rules for political or issue ads could harm the ability of smaller, less well-funded organizations to raise money and organize across the network.

Instead of overhauling its policies, Facebook has made small tweaks. Leathern said Facebook would add greater transparency features to its library of political advertising in the coming months, a resource for journalists and outside researchers to scrutinize the types of ads run by the campaigns.

Facebook also will add a feature that allows users to see fewer campaign and political issue ads in their news feeds, something the company has said many users have requested.

There was considerable debate inside Facebook about whether it should change. Late last year, hundreds of employees supported an internal memo that called on Zuckerberg to limit the abilities of Facebook’s political advertising products.

On Dec. 30, Andrew Bosworth, the head of Facebook’s virtual and augmented reality division, wrote on his internal Facebook page that, as a liberal, he found himself wanting to use the social network’s powerful platform against Trump.

But Bosworth said that even though keeping the current policies in place “very well may lead to” Trump’s reelection, it was the right decision. Dozens of Facebook employees pushed back on Bosworth’s conclusions, arguing in the comments section below his post that politicians should be held to the same standard that applies to other Facebook users.

For now, Facebook appears willing to risk disinformation in support of unfettered speech.

“Ultimately, we don’t think decisions about political ads should be made by private companies,” Leathern said. “Frankly, we believe the sooner Facebook and other companies are subject to democratically accountable rules on this, the better.”

2020 The New York Times Company

Related posts

IBB’s Rumoured Death Enough To Regulate Social Media: Lawmaker

person

act
Chairman of Senate Services Committee, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, All Progressives Congress, APC, Niger East says enacting Social Media regulation law in the country is a matter of urgency.

The lawmaker cited the rumoured death of former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida over the weekend, as a good reason to enact the proposed Social Media Bill which he sponsored.

Senator Musa said, “While I join the family and well-wishers of Baba to condemn the rumour, I call on the security agencies to investigate the matter and uncover its source. This nonsense must not be allowed to continue. Perpetrators of such unholy act must be arrested and prosecuted to serve as deterrent to other fake news carriers out there.”

Read Also: It Is Fake News: Spokesperson Reacts To Rumoured Death Of IBB

He added that “Although death is inevitable for every human being, it is however not something to wish someone, not even one’s enemy. It is ridiculous, unthinkable and barbaric for anyone to wish another person death, especially someone of the caliber of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, one of Nigeria’s legends still living.”

He further explained that, “Many Nigerians I believe now see the reason for the enactment of a social media regulation law. Truly, social media have great advantages. They have ushered in a new way of communication and social interactions which have also transformed and simplified human relations and bridged the gap between nations, regions and even continents of the world. Unfortunately, in the last few years, we have witnessed how this great innovation has also given rise to a worrisome phenomenon called fake news – an intent to deceive.

“Such gross insanity that has taken over social media cannot be allowed to continue. If we do not regulate social media by way of legislation, we would wake up one day to realise that our peace and unity as people have vanished. The social media regulation law, therefore, will help in curtailing the merchandise of fake news.”

The post IBB’s Rumoured Death Enough To Regulate Social Media: Lawmaker appeared first on Information Nigeria.

Related posts

IBB’s rumoured death: Senator justify call for enactment of social media regulation law — Daily Times Nigeria

person

Following the rumoured death of Nigeria’s former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, the Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, Senator Sanni Musa has called for the immediate investigation into the source of the rumour

The Senator described the rumour about the death of General Babangida over the weekend as   unfortunate, mischievous and unholy.

He however said it is a call for the enactment of the social media regulation law championed by himself at the senate.

Reacting to the rumour of IBB’s death in a statement on Monday, the Senator said it was ridiculous and shocking for anyone to wish another human being death.

“Although death is inevitable for every human being, it is however not something to wish someone, not even one’s enemy. It is ridiculous, unthinkable and barbaric for anyone to wish another person death, especially someone of the caliber of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, one of Nigeria’s legends still living,” Senator Musa said.

He recalled that in 2019 alone, rumours about the ‘death’ of IBB has made the rounds more than four times, and wondered why anyone would engage in such act.

He said, “In 2019 alone, rumour about the “death” of Baba has made the rounds more than four times. But, the question most people ask is, who is behind the rumour? Why would he or she engage in such act? What does he or she stand to gain? It is indeed bafflingly.”

Senator Sani Musa however said, the rumour of IBB’s death has also given credence to the need for the enactment of a social media regulation law. He said although the social media has positive impact on the society, the lack of regulation has rather made it injurious to the society.

“Many Nigerians I believe now see the reason for the enactment of a social media regulation law. Truly, social media have great advantages.

“They have ushered in a new way of communication and social interactions which have also transformed and simplified human relations and bridged the gap between nations, regions and even continents of the world.

“However, unfortunately in the last few years, we have witnessed how this great innovation has also given rise to a worrisome phenomenon called fake news – an intent to deceive.

“Such gross insanity that has taken over the social media cannot be allowed to continue.

“If we do not regulate the social media by way of legislation, we would wake up one day to realise that our peace and unity as a people have vanished.

“The social media regulation law therefore will help in curtailing the merchandise of fake news,” he added.

He urged security operatives in the country to investigate the source of the rumour and arrest the perpetrators.

According to him, “While I join the family and well-wishers of Baba to condemn the rumour, I call on the security agencies to investigate the matter and uncover its source.

“This nonsense must not be allowed to continue. Perpetrators of such unholy act must be arrested and prosecuted to serve as deterrent to other fake news carriers out there.”

Meanwhile, Senator Sani Musa has prayed for sound health for General Babangida, wishing him long life.

“We, the people of Niger East are proud to be associated with General Babangida and we pray the Almighty Allah continue to grant him good health and strength. We pray he lives to celebrate many more years,” Senator Sani Musa stated.

Share this:

Related posts

IBB’s rumoured death: Call to enact social media regulation ― Sen. Sani Musa – Vanguard News

person
Kindly Share This Story:

By Henry Umoru

Chairman Senate Services Committee, Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, All Progressives Congress, APC, Niger East has reiterated his call for the urgent enactment of Social Media regulation law in the country.

According to him, with the rumoured death of former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida over the weekend, it has become very imperative for the proposed Social Media Bill which he sponsored to be passed by the Senate.

Senator  Musa who described the rumour about the death of General Babangida over as unfortunate, mischievous and unholy.

The Senator who urged security operatives in the country to investigate the source of the rumour and arrest the perpetrators, said, “While I join the family and well-wishers of Baba to condemn the rumour, I call on the security agencies to investigate the matter and uncover its source. This nonsense must not be allowed to continue. Perpetrators of such unholy act must be arrested and prosecuted to serve as deterrent to other fake news carriers out there.”

The Senator who was reacting to the rumour of IBB’s death with shock, in a statement he issued on Monday said that it was ridiculous for anyone to wish another human being death.

Senator Musa said, “Although death is inevitable for every human being, it is however not something to wish someone, not even one’s enemy. It is ridiculous, unthinkable and barbaric for anyone to wish another person death, especially someone of the caliber of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, one of Nigeria’s legends still living.”

The Senator who recalled that in 2019 alone rumours about the ‘death’ of IBB has made the rounds more than four times, and wondered why anyone would engage in such act,  said, “In 2019 alone, rumour about the “death” of Baba has made the rounds more than four times. But, the question most people ask is, who is behind the rumour? Why would he or she engage in such act? What does he or she stand to gain? It is indeed baffling.”

According to Senator Musa, the rumour of IBB’s death has also given credence to the need for the enactment of a social media regulation law. He said although the social media has positive impact on the society, the lack of regulation has rather made it injurious to society.

He said, “Many Nigerians I believe now see the reason for the enactment of a social media regulation law. Truly, social media have great advantages. They have ushered in a new way of communication and social interactions which have also transformed and simplified human relations and bridged the gap between nations, regions and even continents of the world. Unfortunately, in the last few years, we have witnessed how this great innovation has also given rise to a worrisome phenomenon called fake news – an intent to deceive.

“Such gross insanity that has taken over social media cannot be allowed to continue. If we do not regulate social media by way of legislation, we would wake up one day to realise that our peace and unity as people have vanished. The social media regulation law, therefore, will help in curtailing the merchandise of fake news.”

Meanwhile, Senator Sani Musa has prayed for sound health for General Ibrahim Babangida, wishing him long life.

He said, “We the people of Niger East are proud to be associated with General Babangida and we pray the Almighty Allah continue to grant him good health and strength. We pray he lives to celebrate many more years.”

Related posts

Twitter makes global changes to comply with privacy laws

Twitter Inc is updating its global privacy policy to give users more information about what data advertisers might receive and is launching a site to provide clarity on its data protection efforts, the company said on Monday.

The changes, which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020, will comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

The California law requires large businesses to give consumers more transparency and control over their personal information, such as allowing them to request that their data be deleted and to opt-out of having their data sold to third parties.

ALSO READ: FG to galvanise mining sector with downstream mineral value chain initiative

Social media companies including Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google have come under scrutiny on data privacy issues, fueled by Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal in which personal data were harvested from millions of users without their consent.

Twitter also announced on Monday that it is moving the accounts of users outside of the United States and European Union which were previously contracted by Twitter International Company in Dublin, Ireland, to the San Francisco-based Twitter Inc.

The company said this move would allow it the flexibility to test different settings and controls with these users, such as additional opt-in or opt-out privacy preferences, that would likely be restricted by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Europe’s landmark digital privacy law.

“We want to be able to experiment without immediately running afoul of the GDPR provisions,” Twitter’s data protection officer Damien Kieran told Reuters in a phone interview.

“The goal is to learn from those experiments and then to provide those same experiences to people all around the world,” he said.

The company, which said it has upped its communications about data and security-related disclosures over the last two years, emphasized in a Monday blog post that it was working to upgrade systems and build privacy into new products.

In October, Twitter announced it had found that phone numbers and email addresses used for two-factor authentication may inadvertently have been used for advertising purposes.

Twitter’s new privacy site, dubbed the ‘Twitter Privacy Center’ is part of the company’s efforts to showcase its work on data protection and will also give users another route to access and download their data.

Twitter joins other internet companies who have recently staked out their positions ahead of CCPA coming into effect. Last month, Microsoft Corp said it would honor the law throughout the United States and Google told clients that it would let sites and apps using its advertising tools block personalized ads as part of its efforts to comply with CCPA.

Source: Reuters

Related posts

Safety violation/noise pollution: Lagos govt seals coy over controversial death of staff – Vanguard News

person

Water Parks, 20 others too

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

The Lagos State Government has sealed off the premises of Multipak Nigeria Limited, a plastic production factory located at Plot F8, Kudirat Abiola Way, Oregun, Lagos for violation of safety rules and regulation as well as complete lack of safety management system.

In similar incidents, officials of the State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA, in its on going clampdown on noise pollution and determination to curb the menace of environmental nuisances across the state and further restore sanity and orderliness, on Saturday, shut over 20 facilities which included: Mosques, churches, Water Parks, Ikeja, West Gate Lounge, Omole, Magodo phase 1, among others for various environmental related issues.

The state government, through the State Safety Commission shut the production company, following the untimely death of one Mr Femi Olatunde, a factory worker who got his head stuck while operating one of the processing machines.

Director General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Lanre Mojola, stressed that the State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration has laid emphasis on safety of lives and property of its citizenry, hence, declaration of zero tolerance on factories and private organisations that violate health and safety rules and regulation.

ALSO READ: Man drowns in National Stadium swimming pool

According to Mojola, “On no account should any factory operate without putting in place safety measures at work places, good housekeeping, safety signage, firefighting and suppression equipment, good electrical wiring systems and a clean environment devoid of hazards to the lives of workers and visitors.”

He said that full investigation has commenced into the ugly incident to determine the immediate and remote cause of the death to prevent future occurrence.

Mojola added that investigation was also  ongoing with regards to safety infractions at another steel factory in Odonguyan, Ikorodu. “If they are found wanting after the investigation, the factory will be sealed and prosecuted fully in line with the extant law.

He therefore, urged organisations and individuals to embrace best practice in international safety operations to prevent fatal incidences that endanger lives, stressing, “safety of lives and property is our collective responsibility.”

The Lagos safety boss further warned factories and organizations that violators of safety rules would be severely sanctioned if found wanting.

On closure of religious houses and social centres over noise pollution, the exercise which cut across the state had others like: Skylouge Bar, Oko Oba, Mallam Garba Mosque, iloro, Dick Jockey outlets, Dopemu, Agege, Christ Embassy Church, Iyana ipaja ,El Castillo Homes, Abule Egba, others are Triple Z Hotel and Suite, Shasha, Akowonjo, Regia Luxuria Hotels & Suites, Alimosho, Kings of Diamonds, Coker, Barrel Louge, Opebi, Voice Of Elijah Christian Church, Ikeja, Celestial Church of Christ, Ilupeju and unnamed Mosque at Allhamdiyah all shut.

The General Manager, LASEPA, Dr Adedolapo Fasawe decried the frequent attacks on the officials and obstruction of same from carrying out their official duties by unidentified hoodlums hired by facility owners to prevent lawful application of the law.

Fasawe, however, warned the general public, particularly unrepentant noise polluters to desist from the act of attacking its officials while discharging their duties or face the full wrath of the Law.

This warning came on the heels of clamp down exercise embarked by the agency to curb the tide of noise pollution in the state.

She narrated how officials of the agency were attacked by hoodlums at the Westgate Louge, Omole and Sky Louge, Oko Oba while performing their duty to shut down the facilities for their persistent noise and failure to operate within the orbit of the law.

“Enforcing environmental law in our society that thrives on impunity will require enlisting maximum support of the members of the public, especially our clerics, opinion, political and market leaders to lend their voices to the campaign and condemn the unwarranted but coordinated attacks being launched on the officials while performing their duties,” she stated.

Fasawe further addressed the on-going insinuations and campaign of calumny against the agency by some mischief makers that particular religion was being targeted in the fight against noise pollution.

“Our operation devoid all religious coloration and no particular religion is targeted, our primary objective is to ensure decorum and sanity in the state. The Agency in the past months has being recording tremendous success and which must be supported by all rather than unwarranted attack of our intention by means of misinformation, misrepresentation and deliberate negative reports to bring the agency to disrepute and causes chaos amongst our people,” Fasawe charged.

She continued: “We have deployed various innovations and techniques to tackle environmental pollutions, especially in the area of noise pollution all to no avail, such as engaging the public through advocacy, social mobilisation programmes, stakeholder’s forum, Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) and lastly the use of enforcement as last resort in maintaining sanity.

“Voluntary compliance is more important to the agency than enforcement but regrettably our people doesn’t honour holistic path hence the need to use the provision of the law to curb the tide” she lamented.

Fasawe, also said that some facilities in Lagos were re-opened after complying with the directive of the agency.

Related posts

Dust over death penalty proposal for hate speech

person

A groundswell of opposition is building up against the death penalty proposal for hate speech.
The bill, which is sponsored by Deputy Chief Whip Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (Niger North), passed the first reading in the Senate yesterday.
Titled: “National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speeches (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2019”, the bill also proposes the setting up of a Commission on hate speech.
Last week, the Senate introduced a bill to regulate the social media to punish what it termed “abuse of social media” with a three-year jail term or N150,000 option of fine or both.

The Social Media Regulation Bill titled: “Protection from Internet falsehood and manipulations bill, 2019” is sponsored by Senator Mohammed Sani Musa (Niger East).

Minister of Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that the Federal Government is poised to regulate the social media.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the Senate has vowed to oppose any proposed legislation that would unduly infringe on the rights of Nigerians.
Minority Leader Enyinnaya Abaribe said this while reacting to concerns on the Social Media Bill raised by members of the Leadership and Accountability Initiative, who visited him at the National Assembly.
Abaribe said the PDP senators would oppose the bill if it threatened the fundamental rights of Nigerians guaranteed in Section 39 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
Abaribe noted that there were already laws that dealt with issues the proposed law seeks to regulate.
He urged Nigerians to ensure mutual respect while freely expressing their views.
Abaribe said: “There is no speed with which this Bill is being passed. The first reading of a Bill is automatic. We can’t make a comment on what is still on the first stage.
“What I can assure you is that this Senate can’t be a party to removing the rights of Nigerians under any guise. Section 39 of the Constitution talks about our freedom as citizens. The 9th Senate will not abridge your rights.
“I don’t think Nigerians who fought and paid the supreme price to entrench this democracy will easily give it away and make us go back to the dark days.
“Rest assured that when we get to that point, we will stand for the people. Every Bill that passes here must pass through the rigours to ensure that it protects the rights of over 200 million Nigerians.
“We have a plethora of laws that can be used to drive the question of driving a free society. While social media can be good, it can also be bad. I am a victim of social media.
“As much as there is freedom, yours stops where another person’s own starts. We urge Nigerians not to propagate falsehood or fake news. Our job is to guarantee the freedoms and rights of both sides.”
Leader of the group, Nwaruruahu Shield, insisted that since there were already existing laws dealing with Defamation, it is superfluous to introduce a fresh anti-social media Bill.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar described the introduction of the Anti-Hate Speech Bill by the Senate as abuse of legislative process and called on the federal lawmakers to “stop the folly”.
In a statement by his media adviser, Mr Paul Ibe, the former Vice President said the bill sought to violate the constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of speech of Nigerians.
“It is prudent to build upon the tolerance inherited from those years and not shrink the democratic space to satisfy personal and group interests.
“Freedom of Speech was not just bestowed to Nigerians by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), it is also a divine right given to all men by their Creator.
“History is littered with the very negative unintended consequences that result when this God given right is obstructed by those who seek to intimidate the people rather than accommodate them.
“We should be reminded that history does not repeat itself. Rather, men repeat history. And often, to disastrous consequences”, Atiku said.
He added: “We are now the world headquarters for extreme poverty as well as the global epicentre of out-of-school children. Our economy is smaller than it was in 2015, while our population is one of the world’s fastest growing.
“We have retrogressed in the Corruption Perception Index of Transparency International, from the position we held four years ago, and our Human Development Indexes are abysmally low.
“It therefore begs the question: should we not rather make laws to tackle these pressing domestic challenges, instead of this Bill, which many citizens consider obnoxious?”.
Senator Abdullahi sponsored the same Hate Speech Bill during the Eight Senate but it attracted widespread condemnation from Nigerians. It never returned for second reading before the eighth Senate elapsed
The Bill proposes that the establishment of a Commission to enforce hate speech laws across the country, and ensure the “elimination” of hate speech.
For offences such as harassment on grounds of ethnicity or race, the Bill had proposed that the offender shall be sentenced to “not less than a five-year jail term or a fine of not less than N10 million or both.”
The Billproposes that, “A person who uses, publishes, presents, produces, plays, provides, distributes and/or directs the performance of any material, written and/or visual, which is threatening, abusive or insulting or involves the use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour” committed an offence.
It added that the charge would be justified if such a person intends to stir up “ethnic hatred”.
The Bill makes provision that any offender found guilty under the Act when passed would die by hanging.
“Any person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable to life imprisonment and where the act causes any loss of life, the person shall be punished with death by hanging,” the Bill said.
The Bill provides that “A person who uses, publishes, presents, produces, plays, provided, distributes and/or directs the performance of any material, written and or visual which is threatening, abusive or insulting or involves the use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behavior commits an offence if such person intends thereby to stir up ethnic hatred, or having regard to all the circumstances, ethnic hatred is likely to be stirred up against any person or person from such an ethnic group in Nigeria.
“Any person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable to life imprisonment and where the act causes any loss of life, the person shall be punished with death by hanging.
“In this section, ethnic hatred means hatred against a group if person’s from any ethical group indigenous today Nigeria.
On discrimination against persons, the Bill also provides that: “For the purpose of this act, a person who discriminates against another person if on ethnic grounds the person without any lawful justification treats another Nigerian citizen less favourably than he treats or would treat other person from his ethnic or another ethnic group and/or that on grounds of ethnicity a person put another person at a particular disadvantage when compared with other persons from other nationality of Nigeria.
“A person also discriminates against another person if, in any circumstances relevant for the purposes referred to in subsection (1) (b), he applies to that person of any provision, criterion or practice which he applies or would apply equally to persons not of the same race, ethnic or national origins as that other.”
On harassment on the basis of ethnicity, the Bill further provides that “A person (who) subjects another to harassment on the basis of ethnicity for the purposes of this section where on ethnic grounds, he justifiably engages in a conduct which has the purpose or effect of: a) Violating that other person’s dignity or b) Creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment for the person subjected to the harassment.
“Conduct shall be regarded as having the effect specified in subsection (1) (a) or (b) of this section if, having regard to all circumstances, including in particular the perception of that other person, it should resonably be considered as saying that effect.
“A person who subjects another to harassment on the basis of ethnicity commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to an imprisonment for a term not less than ten years, or to a fine of not less than ten million naira, or to both.”
The objectives and functions of the proposed commission on Hate Speech, according to the Bill includes to facilitate and promote a harmonious peaceful co-existence within the people of all ethnic groups indigenous to Nigeria and more importantly to achieve this objective by ensuring the elimination of all forms of hate speeches in Nigeria, and to advise the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on all aspects thereof.

Related posts

Senate again proposes death by hanging for hate speech

Sanni Onogu, Abuja

The Senate on Tuesday once again proposed death by hanging for anybody found guilty of hate speech in the country.

This followed the first reading of a Bill to set up an agency to prohibit hate speech in the country.

The Bill titled: “National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speeches (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2019” is being sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate who is also the Senator representing Niger North, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi.

It could be recalled that the Senate had last week introduced legislation to regulate the social media and also to punish what it termed “abuse of social media” with a three-year jail term or N150,000 option of fine or both.

The social media regulation Bill titled: “Protection from internet falsehood and manipulations bill, 2019” was sponsored by the Senator representing Niger East, Mohammed Sani Musa.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, recently vowed that the Federal Government is poised to regulate the Social Media.

It could be recalled that Senator Abdullahi had sponsored the same Hate Speech Bill during the Eight Senate but the toxic Bill which attracted widespread condemnation from Nigerians never returned for second reading in the upper before the eight-session of the National Assembly elapsed

The Bill had prescribed death by hanging for any person found guilty of any form of hate speech that results in the death of another person.

It also sought the establishment of an Independent National Commission for Hate Speeches.

The Bill as presented to the Eight Senate had proposed that the commission would enforce hate speech laws across the country, and ensure the “elimination” of hate speech.

For offences such as harassment on grounds of ethnicity or race, the Bill had proposed that the offender shall be sentenced to “not less than a five-year jail term or a fine of not less than N10 million or both.”

The Bill had also proposed that, “A person who uses, publishes, presents, produces, plays, provides, distributes and/or directs the performance of any material, written and/or visual, which is threatening, abusive or insulting or involves the use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour” committed an offence.

It added that the charge would be justified if such a person intends to stir up “ethnic hatred”.

However, a cursory look at the new Bill showed that it is not different from the way it was presented in the Eight Senate by the same sponsor.

The Bill retained a provision that any offender found guilty under the Act when passed would die by hanging.

“Any person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable to life imprisonment and where the act causes any loss of life, the person shall be punished with death by hanging,” the Bill said.

On Hate Speech the Bill provides that “A person who uses, publishes, presents, produces, plays, provided, distributes and/or directs the performance of any material, written and or visual which is threatening, abusive or insulting or involves the use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour commits an offence if such person intends thereby to stir up ethnic hatred, or having regard to all the circumstances, ethnic hatred is likely to be stirred up against any person or person from such an ethnic group in Nigeria.

“Any person who commits an offence under this section shall be liable to life imprisonment and where the act causes any loss of life, the person shall be punished with death by hanging.

Read Also: Senate appeals to FG to ban importation of textile for five years

“In this section, ethnic hatred means hatred against a group if person’s from any ethical group indigenous today Nigeria.

On discrimination against persons, the Bill also provides that: “For the purpose of this act, a person who discriminates against another person if on ethnic grounds the person without any lawful justification treats another Nigerian citizen less favourably than he treats or would treat other person from his ethnic or another ethnic group and/or that on grounds of ethnicity a person put another person at a particular disadvantage when compared with other persons from other nationality of Nigeria.

“A person also discriminates against another person if, in any circumstances relevant for the purposes referred to in subsection (1) (b), he applies to that person of any provision, criterion or practice which he applies or would apply equally to persons not of the same race, ethnic or national origins as that other.”

On harassment on the basis of ethnicity, the Bill further provides that “A person (who) subjects another to harassment on the basis of ethnicity for the purposes of this section where on ethnic grounds, he justifiably engages in a conduct which has the purpose or effect of: a) Violating that other person’s dignity or b) Creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating, or offensive environment for the person subjected to the harassment.

“Conduct shall be regarded as having the effect specified in subsection (1) (a) or (b) of this section if, having regard to all circumstances, including in particular the perception of that other person, it should reasonably be considered as saying that effect.

“A person who subjects another to harassment on the basis of ethnicity commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to an imprisonment for a term not less than ten years, or to a fine of not less than Ten million Naira, or to both.”

On Offence of ethnic or racial contempt, the Bill provides that “Any person who knowingly utters words to incite feelings of contempt, hatred, hostility, violence or discrimination against any person, group or community on the basis of ethnicity or race, commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction be liable to imprisonment for a term not less than five years, or to a fine of not less than Ten million Naira, or to both.”

On Discrimination by way of victimization, the Bill provides that “A person victimizes another if in any circumstance relevant for the purpose of this Act, the person does any act that is injurious to the wellbeing and esteem of another person by U eating the person to less favorably than, in those circumstances, such person treats or would treat other persons, and does so by reason that the person victimized has:

“(a) Made a complaint under this Act; (b) Otherwise done anything under or by reference to this, (c) Given evidence or information in connection with proceedings brought by any person against any other person under this Act; or (d) By reason that the person who has violated the provision(s) of this Act knows that the persons victimized intend to do any of those things, or suspects that the person victimised has done or intend to do, any of them.

“A person who subjects or threatens to subject another person to any detriment because the other person, or a person associated with the other person: (i) has made a complaint against any person; (ii) has brought any other proceedings under this Act against any person; (iii) has given evidence or information, or produced a document, in connection with any proceedings under this Act; (iv) has otherwise done anything in accordance with this Act in relation to any person;

“(v) has contravened a provision of Pan III, unless the allegation is false and was not made in good faith; (vi) has refused to do anything in accordance the allegation is false and was made in good faith;

“(b) fails to comply with a notice by the Commission under section 57; (c) hinders or obstructs a Commissioner, member of staff of the Commission 01′ the Secretaly in the exercise of powers or the performance of functions under this Act;

“(d) uses insulting language towards a Commissioner, member of staff of the Commission or the Secretaty when the member Commissioner, Member of staff 01′ Secretaty is exercising powers or performing functions under this Act; or

“(e) gives any information 01‘ makes any statement to the Commission, the Secretary or a person acting on behalf of the Commission or the Secretary in exercise of powers or the performance of functions under this Act which the person knows is false or misleading in any material particular, commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of two million naira or to imprisonment for a term not less than twelve months or both.”

On Offences by body of persons, the Bill said that “In the case of an offence under this Act committed by a body of persons” (a) where the body of persons is a body corporate, cvcry director, trustee and officer of that body corporate shall also be deemed to be guilty ofthal offence; and

“(b) where the body of persons is a firm, every partner of that firm shall also be deemed to be guilty of that offence”

The objectives and functions of the proposed commission on Hate Speech, according to the Bill includes to facilitate and promote a harmonious peaceful co-existence within the people of all ethnic groups indigenous to Nigeria and more importantly to achieve this objective by ensuring the elimination of all forms of hate speeches in Nigeria, and to advise the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on all aspects thereof.

It added that without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Commission shall:

“Promote the elimination of all forms of hate speeches against any person(s) or ethnic group indigenous to Nigeria.

“Discourage persons, institutions, political parties and associations from advocating or promoting discrimination or discriminatory practices through the use of hate speeches.

“Promote tolerance, understanding and acceptance of diversity in all aspects of national life and encourage full participation by all ethnic communities in social, economic, cultural and political life of other communities;

“Plan, supervise, co-ordinate and promote educational and training programs to create public awareness, support and advancement of peace and harmony among ethnic communities and racial groups;

“Promote respect for religions, cultural, linguistic and other fonns of diversity in a plural society;

“Promote equal access and enjoyment by persons of all ethnic communities and racial groups to public or other services and facilities provided by the Govemment;

“Promote arbitration, conciliation, mediation and similar forms of dispute resolution mechanisms in order to secure and enhance ethnic and racial harmony and peace;

“Investigate complaints of ethnic or racial discrimination and make recommendation to the Attorney-General, the Human Rights Commission or any other relevant authority on the remedial measures to be taken where such complaints are valid.”

The Commission shall also: “Investigate on its own accord or on request from any institution, office, or person any issue affecting ethnic and racial relations;

“Identify and analyze factors inhibiting the attainment of harmonious relations between ethnic communities, particularly barriers to the participation of any ethnic community in social, economic, commercial, financial, cultural and political endeavours, and recommend to the Government and any other relevant public or private body how these factors should be overcome;

“Determine strategic priorities in all the socio -economic political and development policies of the Government impacting on ethnic relations and advise on their implementation;

“Recommend to the Govemment criteria for deciding whether any public office or officer has committed acts of discrimination on the ground of ethnicity or race;

“Monitor and review all legislation and all administrative acts relating to or having implication for ethnic or race relations and, from time to time, prepare and submit to the Government proposals for revision of such legislation and administrative acts;

“Initiate, lobby for and advocate for policy, legal or administrative reforms on issues affecting ethnic relations;

“Monitor and make recommendations to the government and other relevant public and private sector bodies on factors inhibiting the development and harmonious relations between ethnic groups and on barriers to the participation of all ethnic groups in the social, economic, commercial, financial, cultural and political life of the people;

“Undertake research and studies and make recommendations to the Government on any issue relating to ethnic affairs including whether ethnic relations are improving;

“Make recommendations to the Govemment on any issue relating to ethnic affairs including whether ethnic relations are improving;

“Monitor and report annually to the Nation Assembly the status and success of implementation of its recommendations;

“Issue notices directing person, persons or institutions involve in actions or conduct amounting to violations on the basis of ethnicity or race to stop such actions or conduct within a given period; and

“Do all other acts and things as may be necessary to facilitate the efficient discharge of its functions.”

Related posts

Facebook Owner & Dad-of-Two, Mark Zuckerberg Shares Why He Regulates Screen Exposure For His Daughters – Motherhood In-Style Magazine

person

Facebook’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg has shared his etiquette for screen time exposure for his daughters with wife Priscilla Chan — August, 2, and Maxima, 3. According to the billionaire dad, he generally dislikes that his children be sitting in front of a computer or television for a long period of time and so, he’s come up with a regulation that allows them to minimally use Facebook’s video chat product, Portal.

Zuckerberg says it is healthier because it is a video portal that allows the kids keep in touch with their grannies and aunts, and that they have to engage with the humans while using the screen, it is much healthier and comes with the benefits of feeling real connection.

“I don’t generally want my kids to be sitting in front of a TV or a computer for a long period of time,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Fox News’

The Daily Briefing, posted Friday.

“I let my kids use that to communicate with my parents, so they can stay in touch with their grandparents easily, [and] their aunts who live across the country,”

Zuckerberg said.

According to Zuckerberg, that kind of screen time — using video to interact with other human beings — is actually good for you, with benefits such as feeling more connected and healthier.

“I think all the research would generally support that,”

Zuckerberg Told “The Daily Briefing.”

However, says Zuckerberg, passively consuming content, or “going from video to video” isn’t associated with the same positive effects.

While that may be the standard thinking (the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids ages 2 to 5 only use screens for one hour a day, and kids 18 to 24 months only use digital media to video chat) a new study from the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University found that moderate screen use is actually beneficial for kids’ development.

After analyzing data from 35,000 American children ages 6 months to 17 years (and their caregivers), researchers found that the sweet spot seems to be about one to two hours of screen time a day. “Screen time” includes using digital devices such as iPads and watching television.

The kids who were exposed to the optimal amount of screen time had better levels of social and emotional well-being than kids who weren’t allowed to use digital devices. (In this study, researchers controlled the data for variables that influence digital engagement, such as age and sex, race and ethnicity, stress, social support and health.)

So banning kids from using technology altogether, or implementing age restrictions, isn’t the best solution for parents who are concerned about their children’s screen use,

“particularly as screen usage in some cases has a net positive impact,”

Andrew Przybylski, Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute and study author said in a press release.

There is an upper limit for screen time, though: This study also found that kids could watch four hours of TV or use an electronic device for five hours before it started to affect their behavior. Compared to the average amount of time that kids use devices (about two hours of tablets and smartphones, and one hour and 45 minutes of TV), these numbers are very high.

Related posts

2020 presidential race could weigh on FANG stocks

person

The 2020 presidential race could weigh on ‘FANG’ stocks as Democrats attack big tech

As 2020 presidential campaigns accelerate, the dominance of Silicon Valley technology companies is likely to remain a key issue for Democratic candidates, Bank of America analyst Justin Post said in a note to investors on Monday.

“Campaign focus on FANG regulation [is] likely here to stay,” Post said.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren last week unveiled a plan to break up the biggest tech companies if she is elected president. The Massachusetts Democrat is especially focused on four of Wall Street’s beloved “FAANG” stocks: Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Google-parent Alphabet. The group also includes Netflix.

“The giant tech companies right now are eating up little, tiny businesses, start-ups – and competing unfairly,” Warren told CBS on Sunday.

“We’ve got to break these guys apart,” Warren added. “It’s like in baseball: You can be the umpire or you can own one of the teams, but you don’t get to be the umpire and own the teams.”

Post analyzed the “breakup scenarios” for Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook, which Warren referred to repeatedly in her criticism. While forced spinoffs may largely help the former two tech giants, Post thinks Facebook is the most at risk to seriously losing shareholder value.

Bank of America sees “a partial breakup of Alphabet (including spin of YouTube or Waymo)” as possibly “value enhancing.” With the broad reach of each of Alphabet’s business units, as separate entities, each brand “has enough scale to capture vast advertiser interest,” Post added.

Similarly for Amazon, Post said a breakup “would be somewhat neutral for the stock,” as investors in Jeff Bezos’ empire “are generally comfortable” with how much Amazon’s businesses would be worth on their own.

Breaking up Facebook “could be most concerning for investors,” Post said. He found that if Facebook’s Instagram and WhatsApp platforms were separated, they “would likely compete directly with Facebook for usage and advertisers, raising concerns on increased competition.”

That overlap in Facebook’s businesses is a key reason Warren believes they should be separated.

“They bought the competition and now they’re sucking the data out of the competition,” Warren said.

While Bank of America did not include Apple in its breakup analysis, Warren confirmed to CNBC that she intends to break up the iPhone maker. In her interview with CBS, Warren argued that she is not against markets, which she said “produce a lot of good,” but instead thinks “markets have to have rules.”

“It is not capitalism to have one giant that comes in and dominates, a monopolist that dominates a market,” Warren said.

Warren said recent talks with technology venture capital firms revealed that the places where Amazon, Facebook and Google compete are known as “kill zones” to entrepreneurs.

“They call it the kill zone because they don’t want to fund businesses in that space because they know Amazon will eat them up, Facebook will eat them up, Google will eat them up,” Warren said.

Related posts