Regulation Of Online Platforms In Nigeria: Draft Code Of Practice For Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries – Social Media – Nigeria – Mondaq


On June 13, 2022, the National Information Technology Development Agency (“NITDA”) released the Code of Practice for Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries (the “Draft Code”).
The Draft Code aims to safeguard the security and interest of Nigerians and non-Nigerians with to respect activities conducted on online platforms. It also regulates the activities of online platforms including websites and social media operators.
We have set out in this article, the scope, objectives, and key points to note in the Draft Code.
The Draft Code applies to Interactive Computer Service Platforms/Internet Intermediaries and their agents (the “Platform(s)”) in Nigeria. These Platforms include social media operators like facebook, twitter, tiktok, instagram e.t.c., websites, blogs, streaming platforms, online discussion forums (e.g. podcasts), streaming platforms, and other similar platforms.
The Draft Code sets out best practices required of Platforms to ensure the safety of the digital ecosystem for Nigerians and non-Nigerians in Nigeria.
iii) Compulsory disclosure: Platforms should disclose the identity of the creator of information on its Platform when directed to do so by court order, (where the first creator of such information is located outside Nigeria, the first creator of that information in Nigeria shall be deemed to be the first creator).
vii) Compliance report: Platforms are required to file an annual compliance report with NITDA.
viii) Categorization and Incorporation requirement: The Draft Code categorizes Platforms with more than one hundred thousand (100,000) users as Large Service Platforms (“LSPs”).
The NITDA Act provides that any corporate body who commits an offence where no specific penalty is provided, is liable on conviction: (a) for a first offence, to a fine of Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N 200,000) or imprisonment for a term of 1 year or to both such fine and imprisonment; and (b) for a second and subsequent offence, to a fine of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N 500,000) or to imprisonment for a term of 3 years or to both such fine and imprisonment. Please note that the penalities may be reviewed from time to time.
We applaud NITDA's efforts in working toward establishing a code that will regulate online platforms.
We have however set out below a few recommendations to improve the Draft Code.
1. any content that violates an existing law in Nigeria.
2. NITDA, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), or any agency authorised by its enabling law.
3. content which is not unlawful but harmful.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
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