We are in a democratic era where we all have the right to express ourselves, express our opinions and perspectives concerning various matters which affect us. The advent of globalisation and technology has however made the world a small village, brought people together and has given them the opportunity to make known their views concerning issues of public interest.
With technology, news travel faster than electricity, hence a rumour spread by a false source can cause harm to the reputation of an individual. The media as a platform is now being used by people to disseminate hate speeches thereby affecting public opinion about an individual, group and the government. Most people do not care to verify the source and credibility of information but instead accept the information hook, line and sinker and spread the falsehood. This spread goes on and on.
It is rather unfortunate that hate speeches are now commonly used by the people without thinking about the ultimate end result. Hate speeches have led to various crises in the country and at times heat up the polity. With the recent herdsmen crisis among several other crises, there should be concerted efforts to end hate speech in the country. Hate speech is morally degrading, harmful and can blow a tensed situation out of proportion, hence, the need for the media to ensure that its ‘gates’ are effectively and efficiently monitored to check the increasing trend of hate speech.
Also, there is need for proper sensitisation and the regulatory bodies should keep a tab on radio stations as it has been observed that some of their presenters tend to sensationalise issues out of proportion during their press reviews.
There is also the need for government to up its game to check hate speech and all hands must be on deck to ensure that the negative trend of hate speech is stopped. In order for Nigeria to thrive and progress, everyone should be patriotic by voicing ideas on how the nation can grow and develop and not through hate speeches.
Oyefeso Beauty Priscilla, Lagos.