General News | 22 December 2019 23:42 CET

Censors Board trains 300 youths in Zamfara, warns against hate contents

By Joshua Olomu

The National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) trained 300 youths on film censoring and rating in Zamfara State and advised them against spreading hate speech, photos and inciting videos on social media platforms.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training was held on Wednesday at the College of Agriculture and Animal Science in Bakura Local Government Area of the state.

The youths, drawn from various communities in the Local Government, were trained by relevant stakeholders, including scholars and officials of the board as ‘Community Ambassadors’ of the NFVCB against unclassified films and harmful video contents.

Mr Adedayo Thomas, Executive Director of the board, said the training was part of the ” Safer Internet and Capacity Building Against Hate Speech ” campaign targeted at social media users, especially youths across the country.

According to him, there is urgent need to caution young Nigerians against the moral and social implications of hate tendencies in form of unwholesome visual contents.

He noted that many crisis in some parts of the country were escalated as a result of fake news, hate speeches and videos spread on social media.

He said that although enabling laws of the Censors Board prohibits contents that negate national peace and unity, emergence of the internet had made unrestricted access possible, which called for intensive youth education.

Thomas added that “it is no longer news that digital technology has taken over the world, therefore, we must urge our young people to shun materials that can threaten national peace and co-existence.

“This training is born out of the need for NFVCB, both as an industry regulator, and a decision maker to build the capacity of youths who mostly watch films and video contents.

“As young people, you must shun hate speech and other unhealthy contents that threaten the sustenance of our morals and values as Nigerians.

“We all have a responsibility to ensure that the internet is not used to promote what divide us, because our nation cannot develop in the absence of tolerance and unity,” he said.

The Executive Director also called on parents and guardians to ensure they monitor the films their children watch.

According to him, the NFVCB has launched a nationwide sensitisation geared towards ensuring that citizens shun harmful use of digital platforms, with Zamfara State as priorty in the North-West zone.

Thomas told NAN on the sideline that the trained youths were to serve as ambassadors of the board, who would educate other youths against the menace of unwholesome films.

“It is difficult for us to have offices in every local government and community, and that is why these empowered youths are now our ambassadors.

“At every point, they must be able to condemn a bad film when they see one, and report to any of our offices or officials.”

NAN reports that the young ‘Ambassadors’, especially those in film business, were empowered with startup grants by the NFVCB at the end of the training. (NAN)

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