Recently, the National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) engaged youths in Lagos, in a one-day seminar tagged ‘Safer Internet Programme And Capacity Building Against Hate Speech’, as its contribution towards the federal government fight against hate speech.
Resource persons from Nollywood, including actor and activist, Hilda Dokubo; filmmaker Tunji Bamishigbin, the popular marketer, Igwe Gab Okoye, aka Gabosky and veteran actor Keppy Ekpenyong Bassey, graced the event which took place on Thursday, March 7, 2019, at the Suru Express Hotel, Ikeja.
Youths from all the local government areas of Lagos State who attended the event were educated on how to resist being used by bigots to fan the embers of hatred in a multi-religious and multi-ethnic nation like Nigeria.
According to the Executive Director of NFVCB, Adedayo Thomas, “as content regulators in the media sector, the attention of the youths needs to be channeled towards issues that will promote peace and not division, intolerance and marginalization of the vulnerable. The National Film and Video Censors Board’s Safer Internet programme is aimed at promoting a better and positive use of Digital, Information and Communication Technology.
“The board had done a lot to ensure that the internet and the electronic media are not used for negative purposes. As a matter of fact, the internet and the electronic media become unsafe when they are used to propagate fake news and hate speeches.”
Also speaking at the event, Dokubo engaged the youths with practical example of how information are usually thwarted by bigots for selfish reasons, causing misinterpretations and disaffection among people.
“Media has gone beyond film and television, and today, nearly everyone is a reporter and content producer as the social media provides us the free platform of broadcast through WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube,” she said.
She described hate speeches as activities, and weapons used to instigate, and nearly always results in violence and destruction of all that the people represent.
“Hate speeches are a violation of our sensibilities; they attack our people, race, belief, sex, culture and more. These hate people argue passionately about issues, believes, ideas, and policies. It’s not always pretty – but the right to say what we believe, and to publish those beliefs has been and are still an essential part of our freedom as a people and our democracy as a nation and must be said without hate even as we motivate others into action.”
She advised that rather than spread a hate speech, receivers should delete such messages.