Mohammed made the call on Thursday at the National Defence College, Abuja, while delivering a lecture on the topic, “The Impact of Fake News and Hate Speech on National Security in Nigeria’’.
The Minister who was addressing participants of Course 29 of the College underscored the need for government to also deploy technology to monitor the Social Media and stop the purveyors of fake news and hate speech in their tracks.
He noted that lack of a national policy and relevant technology have made the government to be handicapped in tackling the menace of Social Media.
“The need to act fast is made more urgent by the fact that the extremism being promoted by anti-state groups remains one of the biggest challenges to Nigeria’s national security.
“Let me quickly state that the veritable tools of choice for extremists to propagate their dangerous and subversive ideas include unrestrained propaganda, fake news and hate speech.
“These are very potent tools in the hands of extremists, whether they are secessionists, ultra-nationalists, religious extremists or even insurgents.
“Of course, Social Media is the platform of choice for these malcontents.
“It is not surprising, therefore, that the Boko Haram terrorists have resorted to the use of Social Media to propagate the ideas in their depraved minds,’’ Mohammed said.
The Minister said the country could learn from best practices around the world including China.
He said China, with about 1.4 billion people, “does not allow an unbridled use of Social Media platforms like Facebook, Google or Whatsapp’’.
The Minister said that many countries have also enacted laws or leveraged on regulations to ensure a responsible use of the Social Media.
Mohammed said the security and intelligence agencies also have a big role to play in stopping misuse of the Social Media.