The federal government has issued a code of conduct for all online platforms operating in Nigeria.
In a statement Monday, Hadiza Umar , Head of Corporate Affairs and External Relations of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), said the code of conduct should guide the operation of interactive computer service platforms/Internet intermediaries.
The agency said the code was with contributions developed by online platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Google.
The code of conduct, according to the agency, will protect online platforms for illegal and harmful information on their platforms Hold them accountable.
The development is a new move by the federal government to regulate online platforms amid concerns that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government is restricting freedom of speech and internet freedom – a move the government has refused.
TERMS OF OPERATION
As part of the terms, Internet platforms must register with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), comply with relevant tax regulations, and avoid prohibited content.
The regulations also include policies on pornography and related Cybercrime issues.
“Comply with Nigerian law and not provide or modify its platform in a manner that undermines or interferes with the application and/or enforcement of the law,” the document reads .
“Act expeditiously if you receive a court order directing a platform to submit information under its domain or any assistance to an authorized government agency for the purpose of enforcement to provide an investigation, fight cybercrime, or prosecute a criminal offense.
“Act quickly when you receive a notification from a user, or an authorized government agency, about the presence of illegal content their platform. A platform must acknowledge receipt of the complaint and remove the content within 24 hours.
“Act quickly to remove, disable or close access to non-consensual content block revealing a person’s private areas, full or partial nudity, sexual acts, deepfake or revenge porn if such content is intended to harass, discredit or intimidate any person. A platform must acknowledge receipt of the complaint and remove the content within 24 hours.”
Online platforms should also “prioritize authentic information in search, in feeds or other sales channels ; Prosecute, expose, sanction and shut down accounts and sources that reinforce disinformation and misinformation.”