A CONVERSATION WITH DIGITAL RIGHTS ADVOCATES IN PORT HARCOURT BY TECHHERNG IN COLLABORATION WITH PARADIGM INITIATIVES

By Smith Nwokocha

TECHHER NG IN COLLABORATION WITH PARADIGM INITIATIVE
Supported by Luminate, Osiwa, MacArthur Foundation, Shehu Musa YarAdua Founation, and Ford Foundation.
Presents:
“A Conversation with Digital Rights Advocates”.
@De Edge Hotel, GRA, Port Harcourt.
24th June, 2022.
The Session were moderated by Amina and Khajidat.
Conversation that sparks the moments were centred on “Data Protection, Online safety and Internet Governance”.
Atat, a participant opened the conversation and shared his experience in the digital space, after Amina’s (TechHer NG) Opening remark. Then, Sam Oracle emphasized on Surveillance as inevitable in the digital space.
Threat to lives of the end users of social media and a follow up question was that, what will citizens do to mitigate the growing threats of social media users? In response, a legal luminary in attendance, added that; Citizens should not over shoot their activities online, as well abuse Office holders. The same way, we have rights, we should be careful to do what is right and say what is right. Citizens should know how to exercise their rights online.


A participant mentioned how the ENDSARS saga made social media platform so relevant in Nigeria politics.
Khadijat added, Cyber-Laws in the eyes of Digital Rights Activists tend to hide a lot of illegalities.
A participant said, there are some values lost for social media being in existence. Chioma, responded and said, social media did not change our values as Nigerians, Nigeria is a secular state.
Atat, said we should have video captioning for the Disabled Community, the Digital space should be all inclusive.
John Best, talk on the Code of Practice in the Digital space not favourable to the end users.
Amina re-directed the conversation, bringing pointers from Government Policies, Platform Policies and the end-users. In order words, what we as Community can do to protect ourselves, what Government policies to protect us and Platform policies to protect ourselves.
Mr. Ihueze, encouraged we form a forum, strong community of Online users, find a way to organize ourselves, being a voice for each other and support each other were necessary.
Mr. Smith, said for individual/end-users, please don’t put too much personal information online and forming a Community of Digital Rights is a way forward.
Some feedbacks from the Disabled attendees were worth-while, that they use android’s phones too and should be fully included in the laws and practices in the digital space.
Key-Points highlighted by Khajidat (Paradigm Initiative):
Surveillance
More Awareness/education on the digital space/Online
Threat to the Social/Civic Space.
Collaboration
Chioma (TechHerNG) added by saying in all, “Internal Vigilance is the price for democracy”. We are in this together, we will continue to educate ourselves in the social and civic space.

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