Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information on Thursday urged Google to block terrorist organisations from YouTube, a popular online video sharing and social media platform.
The minister of information made the request when a team from Google visited him in Abuja.
“We want Google to look into how to tackle the use of private and unlisted YouTube channels and YouTube livestreams by proscribed groups and terrorist organizations,” the Minister said, according to a statement signed by his spokesperson, Segun Adeyemi.
“Channels and emails containing names of proscribed groups and their affiliates should not be allowed on Google platforms,” he said.
According to the minister the Federal Nigerian Government recently proposed a “Code of Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/ Internet Intermediaries” in an attempt to provide a framework for collaboratively protecting Nigerian users of Internet platforms.
“This code couldn’t have come at a better time, as the country prepares for general elections next year. We are committed to working with platforms like yours as well as the civil society, lawyers, media practitioners and other relevant stakeholders to ensure a responsible use of the Internet and to protect our people from the harmful effects of social media,” he said.
Google Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa, Mr. Charles Murito said the platform has introduced a programme called “Trusted Flaggers” for citizens trained to track and engage with online contents in order to flag contents of serious concern
“As I mentioned earlier, we share the same sentiments, we share the same goals and objectives and we do not want our platform to be used for ill purposes,” he said.
Google’s Government Affairs and Public Policy Manager, Mr. Adewolu Adene, said “Equiano”, a subsea cable which recently berthed in Nigeria from Portugal, is aimed at enhancing connectivity and access to the internet as well as to drive down the cost of data,in order to create jobs and facilitate the transfer of knowledge.
Adene said through the Google News Initiative Challenge, 30 media platforms, with 5 from Nigeria will be awarded a $3.2 million grant in recognition of their innovative work in information dissemination.
Google has pledged to work with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture to digitize the recently-repatriated artifacts in order to preserve and market them to a global audience through Google Arts and Culture.