Amnesty International has called on the Nigerian government to denounce statements that incite tribal hatred.
In a statement on Monday, Isa Sanusi, media manager, Amnesty International, condemned the rise in ethnocentric narratives and hatred on social media.
“Amnesty International has noted a shocking and significant rise in recent social media posts inciting tribal hatred, using ethnic slurs that have gone unchecked. Influential people such as journalists and political figures were among those sharing the inciting posts,” Sanusi said.
The remarks gave rise to voter intimidation and targeted attacks during the governorship and state assembly elections held on March 18.
During the elections, there was a rise in comments breeding ethnic and religious strife, especially on social media.
The organisation said Nigerian authorities must denounce such statements, calling on social media companies to scale up their content moderation efforts.
“Nigeria authorities have an obligation to prohibit advocacy of hatred that constitutes incitement to hostility, discrimination or violence. The authorities must urgently denounce any statements, online or otherwise, which advocate violence against a specific ethnic group.
Sanusi said that social media companies also have a responsibility to rapidly scale up their content moderation efforts, and ensure that the algorithms behind their platforms are not fueling advocacy of tribal or ethnic hatred.