Centre for Information Technology and Development, CITAD, has raised an alarm over proliferation of social media accounts attributed to Nigerian politicians, saying that Governor Nasir El-Rufai tops the list of politicians with fake accounts.
Speaking at the launch of annual hate speech report for 2017 and 2018, held at the CITAD headquarters in Kano on Tuesday, a Programme Officer at the centre, Hamza Ibrahim observed that these pseudo-accounts became a beehive of perpetrating hate speech.
Mr Ibrahim observed that in the build-up to the 2019 elections, hundreds of fake accounts attributed to some notable politicians were created.
According to him, the research conducted by the CITAD shows that Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i of Kaduna State topped the list of politicians with multiple Facebook accounts in northern Nigeria with 225 fake accounts in January this year.
He added that Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State had 154 Facebook accounts attributed to him in November last year which increased to 168 in January, 2019.
The Programme Officer lamented that most of these accounts were used to perpetuate hate speech and fake news, which, according to him, have become a source of concern on the country.
Describing the act as identity impersonation and theft, Mr Ibrahim called on the politicians and high placed Nigerians to beware of the trend and take necessary actions.
He, however, noted that the rate of hate speech had been reduced as a result of CITAD’s effort to track it online and sensitive the public against it, as well as enlighten the stakeholders on how to curb the menace.
“We are really winning the war against hate speech. According to researches we conducted, hate speech and inflammatory speeches are reducing in Nigeria.
“We, therefore, continue to call on the stakeholders to sustain the tempo in the fight against the menace,” Mr Ibrahim said.