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News Commentary: The need to checkmate the increase of cyber bullying and abuse among citizens

Written by on March 13, 2023

written by Joan Davou of our News and Current Affairs Department

Over the years, Nigeria’s cyberspace has increasingly been infiltrated with all sort of malicious utterances and hateful messages,.

More often than not, these messages are geared towards ridicule, passing false information and tarnishing the image of people.

It’s far too easy to treat cyber bullying and abuse as strictly the problem of the youths . It’s not as adults are known to also engage in it.

In its most basic of forms, it could start with the classic ritual of friends teasing each other and one or more taking it too far that it stops being funny.

No doubts,the 2023 general election have escalated this trend to high heavens with all manner of abusive postings on the social media space in the name of campaigns

A glance at the behaviors and activities many people across different social media platforms indicate lack of tolerance for personal opinions, outright mischief throwing of insults and name -calling , attacks and counter attacks by those who engage in the unwholesome practice

Some unscrupulous elements have also seized the opportunity offered by the easy access to social media to seized the electioneering period to incite violence, spread false information and even went to the extent of sending threat messages to oppositions and their families.

Unfortunately,Unlike the mainstream media, social media does not have stringent rules guiding it’s conduct, which explains why the usage can easily be abused

But it is important to point out that although the Nigerian constitution grants everyone the freedom of speech and expression, hate speech whether done physically or on social media, remains a punishable offence by law.

Therefore,those who engage in all manner of unwholesome practices using the social media especially during the ongoing electioneering process should desist from such activities before the long arm of the law catches up with them. To be forewarned ,they say,is to be forearmed .

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