Social Media Hangout: Freedom of internet use and the rights of the citizens

At a time when the Nigerian government’s ban of Twitter and decision to prosecute those who continue using the platform has continued to cause uproar in the country, the 2nd edition of the annual social media hangout this year focused on the theme ‘Digital media: freedom of internet use and the rights of the citizens.’

No doubt the use of the internet has opened job opportunities for several Nigerian youths and given voice to the voiceless at a time when technology is turning the world into a global village.

CEO of Bodex media and convener of the event, Florence Bodex Hungbo, said the theme of this year’s Social Media Hangout came long before the twitter ban and she felt God was using her to pass across a message through the theme.

Bodex said she observed that journalists are not treated well in Nigeria, adding that it was high time journalists started having their own voices and avenues where they can come together and talk so that people will hear them and respect them.

Bodex assured that the social media hangout was a platform to promote journalists. She assured that there will be more innovations to the event each year, with or without sponsorship.

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“This event has come to stay as it celebrates the works that journalists do across Nigeria. I am also a PR consultant, so since I’m also a media person, I called on my colleagues to put this event together. I love to create a very good relationship with people,” she said.

She hinted that there is still hope for traditional media platforms only if they are able to look for innovative ways to merge social and traditional media to achieve results.

“There is still hope for traditional media. What we need to do is to have a road map that can enable us to co-exist. We need to find out what others do traditionally, and what others do digitally. They can be merged together and we will be able to still sell our news without problems.”

The Lagos State Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso and CityPeople group CEO, Seye Kehinde were the two speakers for the 2021 edition of the Social Media hangout.

Omotoso and Kehinde were joined by Charles Kalu, Silverbird and Rhythm’s national head of news and current affairs as speakers for the event.

Speaking on the essence of the event, which continues to draw several entertainers and society bigwigs to its fold, the convener said, “The aim is to bring under one umbrella the producers, who are publishers of news and the consumers, who are the fans either as followers and readers and other stakeholders to co-exist.

“This initiative will enable all stakeholders to connect, network, share and have fun. More of this kind of interaction can bring sanity to our youths by creating more awareness with a constant reminder of the benefit of using social strengths in nation-building.”

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