The Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation Bill, also known as the Social media Bill, has passed through second reading in the Senate.
The bill on Wednesday passed second reading with support by majority of Senators.
This is despite opposition to the proposed legislation by Nigerian citizens who are of the opinion that the bill seeks to fight free speech.
During the debate, only one lawmaker, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani opposed the bill. He argued that there is legislation in the country namely the Cyber Crimes Act which addresses internet falsehood.
The Senate, however directed its committee on judiciary to work on the bill and return in four weeks.The bill was introduced to the Senate on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.
According to the sponsor of the bill, Mohammed Sani Musa, a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) representing Niger East Senatorial District, it will regulate the use of social media in Nigeria and curb fake news on the internet.
A similar anti-social media bill introduced by the previous eighth Senate, sparked outrage across the country, and was later withdrawn.
The bill, if passed into law, seeks to prevent falsehoods and manipulations and counter the effects of such communications and transmission to sanction offenders with a view of encouraging and enhancing transparency by social media platforms using internet correspondences.