Social Media Regulation in a Democratic Nigeria: Challenges and Implication


Social Media
National Broadcasting Commission

How to Cite

Tsegyu Santas PhD, & Kelvin Inobemhe. (2021). Social Media Regulation in a Democratic Nigeria: Challenges and Implication. Media & Communication Currents, 5(1), 71-88. Retrieved from


The debate to censor social media has taken the front burner in discourse across social milieu and on a global scale. Government institutions are championing the course based on what they termed “abuse of the platforms”. According to authorities, social media has the propensity to ignite an already polarised country like Nigeria if not quickly checked. However, the traditional media is regulated and many believe the call to regulate social media is a ploy to muzzle free speech. Regulatory frameworks are not new to the media in Nigeria – National Broadcasting Commission, and the Nigerian Press Council regulates broadcast and print media in the country. In a democratic society, over-regulation is seen as a threat to free speech. Therefore, the call to regulate social media has received backlash from Nigerians across political divides. Anchored on regulation theory, this paper discusses the implications and challenges of regulating social media in a democratic society like Nigeria. The major challenge is that of infringement on citizens’ right to free speech. The study utilised library research to arrive at secondary data sources useful for understanding the challenges and implications of embarking on a social media regulation in Nigeria. The paper concludes that it is indeed difficult to regulate social media as it will likely constitute an attack on freedom of expression – a fundamental right of human beings which democratic regimes the world over seeks to uphold



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