The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), has recommended the introduction of Internet censorship to check abuse of content online.

Internet censorship is the monitoring or control of files, webpages, contents that can be accessed, published, or viewed on the Internet.

Censorship, according to the Association, can be done by the government, private organisations acting on governmental policies or their own policies or by individuals out of fear of legal or social consequences that might arise from the misuse of the Internet.

“It has been noted that some people have taken advantage of this privilege in the negative form/direction/manner. These negative acts have forced the introduction of censorship on the Internet,” NiRA said.

A recent statement from NIRA added that “Internet censorship can be done in various forms. For example, a country might see some social media websites/platforms as a national threat thereby restricting citizens’ access to such sites/platforms. There are also Child Online Protection Act, Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, etc. These are all geared towards online protection of children and the youths.”

NiRA affirmed that the Internet, which has over the years proven to be the best and largest computer network where files and information of any kind can be easily shared and accessed with no restrictions, is now taking a negative form in the society.

“It has been noted that some people have taken advantage of this privilege in the negative form/direction/manner. These negative acts have forced the introduction of censorship on the Internet,” NiRA explained.

NiRA pointed out that while the Internet has facilitated many organisations and individuals to attain global recognition, the wrong use of the Internet can also cause harm or infringe on the rights of other individuals, organisations, or countries.

The association disclosed its censorship policy which states that “The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), has policies guiding domain name registrations. There are guidelines against registration of domain names, which can be termed offensive to the Nigerian community and the global community.”

NiRA therefore advises Internet users to be cautious of what they view on the Internet since its accessibility has been integrated into every gadget, making it easy and fast for everybody to access the Internet, contributing and/or consuming available information online.

“Internet users are advised to be careful with the kind of content they upload and view because everything that goes over the Internet can be regarded as public content for public consumption and can be accessed by anybody,” it added.

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