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NITDA reiterates need for digital content moderation, online safety

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) says there is need for safety and content moderation in the digital space in line with global practices.

Malam Kashifu Inuwa, Director-General, NITDA, made this submission on Monday when a team from TikTok, a social media platform, visited him in Abuja.

Inuwa said it was important for stakeholders to collaborate in advancing the Nigerian digital space, because activities online generated human and Artificial Intelligence compendium, accessible to the rest of the world.

He called for the implementation of content moderation strategies which would address online issues like hate speech, misinformation, cyberbullying in relation to the protection of minors across the country.

“With the Code Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries in place, this will help in ensuring digital safety in accordance with global best practice and content moderation to enhance security.

“No organisation can operate in silos; we need each other for the actualisation of our goals and objectives towards services delivery and for the advancement of the nation.’’

Highlighting some critical areas, the director-general said that leveraging on the interactive computer service platform, would advance the country through their Digital Literacy 4 All (DL4ALL) programme.

According to him, it will ensure capacity building, knowledge sharing, trainings, and curbing misinformation, digital safety with the aim of creating a safer cyber space and empowering online environment for Nigerian users.

“The platform also allows for creative expression through filters, stickers, and editing tools, entertainment and comedy which are dominant themes.

“Other features are informational videos on various topics that are gaining traction, which has become a launchpad for influencers and trends that can go viral,’’ he said.

Inuwa said that NITDA’s Strategic Roadmap and Action Plan 2.0 (SRAP 2024-2027) were structured around eight pillars, which part of them provided avenues to safeguard the digital space.

Earlier, Mrs Tokunbo Ibrahim, Head of Government Regulation and Public Policy, TikTok Nigeria and West Africa, commended NITDA, because according to him, the agency’s policies aligned with the vision of TikTok.

”Asides leveraging the social media platform to market products and services, Ibrahim said, it had enabled some projects, programmes in collaboration with Africa Creator Hub.

“The Africa Creation hub has encouraged users to do campaigns for tech creation, support, empower and educate them on content creation, while exploring other sections of TikTok to change the narrative.

“TikTok platform considers online safety as one of its critical areas to secure the cyber space by providing an avenue for users to thrive and be productive in their various activities,” she said.

She said that TikTok was currently running an African mall; an idea to push the continent’s narrative to the world, while content creators were being empowered with skills for products and services in Nigeria.

Ibrahim explained that such services could be exported to other countries of the world; which would further attract investments. (NAN) 

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