Hello Steemians. I'm elated to be a part of this contest as it gives me the platform to extensively discuss about restricted and unrestricted internet in my country - Nigeria, the Giant of Africa.
Growing up, I was made to understand that there is freedom of speech as it was codified in the Nigerian Constitution. This include every form of speech which could be oral or written, speech broadcast on social media, print media, television stations, radio stations and even the internet. But lately, the reverse is the case. No wonder Idi Amin says there's Freedom of speech but he doesn't guarantee Freedom after speech. Sighs!
The recent obvious violation of the fundamental human right of Freedom of Speech in Nigeria is the illegal arrest and detaining of a Presidential Candidate in the last General election in Nigeria, Activist and Blogger - Omoyele Sowore. He planned a peaceful protest which trended on the internet with the hashtag #revolutionNow. The hashtag #revolutionNow was the talk of the town as it reached every nook and crannies of the World through medium such as Twitter and Instagram amongst other platforms. Yes! The power of the internet.
The protest was planned to address issue of bad governance in Nigeria but it was halted by the biguns who doesn't want people's eyes to be open to their flaws.
In the same vein, the Nigerian Senate, the arm of government that make Laws reintroduced a bill that seeks to monitor and regulate the use of Social Media in Nigeria. Any individual guilty of spreading unverified and false information on social media will pay a fine of one hundred and fifty thousand naira or three years behind bars. On the other hand, if it's a Corporate organization they will be fined between five to ten million naira. Isn't this a way of scaring or more profoundly instilling fear into the minds of netizens in Nigeria, thereby increasingly restricting us from sharing our thoughts, opinions, reflections and beliefs about issues.
One obvious cause of restrictions of the internet in Nigeria is fast rising Internet Fraud popularly known as 'Yahoo-Yahoo'. The Nigerian government frowns at this act a lot such that that collaborate and join forces with various security agencies to fight internet fraud. Internet fraud has given Nigeria a bad image in the corporate world which results in many countries loathing and detesting Nigerians. They feel every Nigerian is a fraudster. This geers the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to take up the responsibility of eradicating this act. Any suspect is arrested, trailed and jailed.
Conclusively, in my own opinion, I believe Restricted and Unrestricted internet as I have elucidated above has its merits and demerits to the people of the World. It can be validated that some many users of the internet over do things, hence, abusing the use of the Internet. Such as hiding under the anonymity of the Internet to perpetrate crimes, swindle or even circulate false, illegal and unlawful contents. It's not a bad idea if restrictions are placed on the the internet and its users for this reasons.
On the other hand, there's an intentional attempt to kill the voice of the people by the government. The internet is an highly developed technological innovation that can be used to access various information from any part of the world. When a government identity a website, blog or social media account as a threat to their administration, they tend to find a way to shut it down completely which often times could illegal and tramping on people's legal rights.