An evaluation of the concepts of dangerous and hate speeches, and their security implications in the social media era Nigeria
The security challenges of this contemporary era have shifted from the physical to the virtual spaces and retain dominance in both spaces. The innovation of internet-aided tools like social media has facilitated the proliferation of expressions that raise fear in people and threaten their existence even within their localities. Nigeria, in particular, is not exempted from this issue. Thus, particularly because of her history of violence, ethnic and religious divides, the proliferation of dangerous and hate speeches online which catalyzes hostility, dehumanization and violence, calls for serious concern. This paper, therefore, examines the extent to which Nigerian security is threatened by the spread of dangerous and hate speeches via social media. Also, due to the conceptual ambiguity of hate speeches, this study attempted a precise conceptual clarification on the terms: dangerous and hate speeches. And further argued that dangerous speeches predispose individuals and groups to violence, hate speeches also raise concerns because of their dismissive and divisive capacity, and they could also trigger dangerous responses that could lead to eventual violence. The data were generated from online scholarly journal articles and organizations’ documents. The study recommends for both hate and dangerous speeches to be curbed in the Nigerian cyberspace, as both breed unhealthy rivalry and keeps victims and target groups feeling less secure.
Keywords: Hate speech, Dangerous speech, Social media, Insecurity, Security, Nigeria