The latest news on this front comes from a really interesting post at Human Rights Watch:
Nigerian authorities appear to be on a renewed drive to muzzle free speech.
Earlier this month, the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) suspended the broadcast licenses of two subsidiaries of Daar Communications, the African Independent Television (AIT) and Raypower Radio station, only giving broad and vague reasons. Barely a week later, the Department of State Security Services (DSS) declared a crackdown on social media users for posting materials described as threatening to the country’s peace and stability.
The NBC, citing its powers under the National Broadcast Commission Act, sanctioned the stations for airing “inflammatory, divisive, inciting broadcasts, and media propaganda against the government.” AIT was cited for broadcasting “uncensored and unedited social media content.” The DSS subsequently arrested an unknown number of unnamed social media users for allegedly threatening peace and security by posting inciting statements. The DSS has been previously implicated in human rights violations including arbitrary arrests, detention without trial, and torture.
Social media has become a very important tool for shaping public discourse in Nigeria. The authorities have struggled to maintain a balance between regulating against extreme views and hate speech and preserving the right to free speech. The 2015 Cybercrimes law, which criminalizes of a broad range of online interaction, has been used to prosecute at least five bloggers.
See the full story here.