The Federal Government of Nigeria has given a breakdown of what Hate Speech entails.
According to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, any speech, broadcast or publication that denigrates a person, a group of people on the basis of their sex, religion, political belief or origin is considered as hate speech.
Speaking in Abuja, the Minister stressed that any broadcast or publication that tends to erode social cohesion that is an attack on our inclusion and common value is hate speech.
He added that anyone who goes to television and denigrate one person or the other to cause social disharmony have breached the hate speech code.
What Hate Speech Entails
The minister said the fine for Hate Speech was raised to 5 Million naira for national security and to serve as a deterrent to those bent on destabilising the country through the use of fake news and hate speech.
Mohammed recalled that the ministry of information and Culture devoted an entire National Council of Information meeting to discuss the effect of fake news and hate speech in 2017.
While highlighting the effects of hate speech, Mohammed said it led to genocide in Rwanda where over 800,000 lives were lost.
He said the fine for Hate Speech in Nigeria is minor when compared to countries like Iceland, Norway, UK, Germany and South Africa where hate speech is criminalised adding that Hate speech attracts either fines or jail term or both in many countries.
However, he reiterated that the government will not relent in its resolve to control the medium without stifling freedom of speech adding that the social media has aggravated the menace of hate speech and fake news.
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