Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has raised alarm over the outrageous hate and harmful speeches by some political actors which in return ignite violence and crisis among the general public.
The centre at a press briefing on Hate Speech, Disinformation and the Campaign for the 2023 general elections said it has monitored activities of people and groups on social media through its hate speech observatory which tracks and counter harmful speech and disinformation.
Speaking through the head of the desk, Mallam Hamza Ibrahim, the centre said since the last six months they focused attention to tracking and countering election-based harmful speech and disinformation, which is their contribution to the quest of having peaceful 2023 elections.
“We have observed that the following categories of people contribute to the proliferation of harmful speech online, Spokespersons of campaign councils at different levels, Film makers involved in advertising candidates or parties, Content creators on social media, Comedians, Prominent politicians including serving governors, Supporters of parties and candidates or movements and Political singers.”
Ibrahim said from their observation and monitoring of harmful speech in the last six weeks, the above groups have been at the forefront of purveying not only harmful speech on social media, but disinformation.
“And as the general election keeps approaching and considering the rate at which incitement, call for violence, hate speech, threatening remarks and disinformation are surfacing online, we consider it necessary to raise these critical concerns with the public and pinpoint the danger they pose to peaceful conduct of the election that we hope for,” he added.
According to him, despite signing peace accords at various instances, the politicians and their allies kept heating the polity and igniting violence in the name of campaigning, recommending that perpetrators should sanitize their words and actions.