Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) has trained select Nigerian journalists on how to identify and counter hate speeches on social media platforms and the conventional media.
The training which was attended by journalists from print, electronic and online media is part of the organsation’s Countering Hate Speech Project aimed at promoting peaceful co-existence among Nigerians to fast track development in the country.
While welcoming the participants to the training on Thursday at Denis Hotel in Abuja, the Project’s Lead, Hamza Ibrahim said the issue of hate speech has assumed a worrisome dimension as it become very rampant in Nigeria.
Ibrahim noted that hate speech has become a threat to unity, peaceful coexistence in Nigeria and has been affecting the country negatively.
He said in November alone, CITAD tracked 387 instances of hate speech in the social media platforms organisation.
“We recruited and trained monitors to be on the lookout for those speeches and document them. We analyze those hate speeches and make the report public,” he said.
He said this will enable stakeholders take actions to ensure the issue of hate speech is addressed in the country.
“The idea of the project is because social media is becoming polutted with hate and dangerious comments. It is to enlighten the public, educate the people and engage stakeholders to erradicate the menace of hate speech,” Ibrahim said.
He said the training was specifically targeted at journalists in view of the important roles they play in the society, to draw their supports and expertise as partners, to help educate, sensitize members of the society against the danger of hate and dangerous speeches.
As partners, the project lead said the media is expected to use skills acquired from the training and take measures to ensure hate speech “does not become a calamity to us.”