David Mark Denies Calling For Social Media Censorship | Welcome to Linda Ikeji's Blog

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Sunday, 5 August 2012

David Mark Denies Calling For Social Media Censorship

Senate President, Senator David Mark, was last week quoted by a newspaper asking for a clampdown on social media, saying that people now use them to demean their leaders. Now the Senate President is saying he was misquoted

Below is a statement from his special adviser on media, Kola Ologbondiyan, plus the the full text of what the senate president really said at the gathering
Recently, the President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, delivered a keynote address at the Senate press corps Retreat in Umuahia, Abia Sate. The theme of the Retreat was: The Role of the Media in Promoting Good Governance. In his address, the President of the Senate had asserted that “the emergence of the social media like Facebook, twitter, blackberry messenger, YouTube etc have changed the face of the media practice by making information sharing easier, faster and quicker. But this is not without its demerits. Social media has become a threat to the ethics of media practice and good governance because of its accessibility and absolute freedom. Every freedom carries a responsibility. Even in the advanced democracies, where we all agree that good governance is practiced, there is no absolute freedom.


Continuing, Senator Mark expressed the belief that “there must be a measure to check the negative tendencies of the social media in our country. I say this because media practice, particularly journalism, process news gathering and dissemination. It also operates a feedback mechanism and where the practitioners erred there is room for rebuttal. But in the social media a faceless character can post any information that is absolutely false and misleading but will never retract it. At the end of the day one is bombarded with questions over what one has no business with. I suggest that schools of mass communication and journalism should review their curricular to include the operations of social media.”

Senator Mark also informed the audience that since he was quoted out of context that mobile phones was not for the poor myth, he had learnt to read a prepared text wherever he went to deliver an address. “I have challenged anybody to show me a quote in my own words where I said telephone is not for the poor. Nobody has been able to produce it yet I have to defend this everyday that what I said was if you must use a phone then you have to pay for the service.”

Noting that he always love to speak from the heart, the President of the Senate said he hoped and prayed that whatever he would present in his address to the Senate Press Corps at the event would not be misconstrued and misrepresented to Nigerians who were not present at the event.

It was as if Senator Mark saw tomorrow or had a premonition of how his innocuous remark on the social media would be misinterpreted and misrepresented by mischief makers who have been lurking around to attack him.

Hardly had he returned to his seat after the address when mischief makers began to work on their blogs in the social media. The message of the President of the Senate, delivered in a simple language, has not only been misconstrued, it has become misrepresented and had begun to spread like a wildfire. Mark had become the victim of the fear he had expressed before his address.

The wildest among the reactions said Senator Mark had called for censorship of the social media. There were those who said the President of the Senate stated that social media was being used to insult the leaders of the nation like him while others became as mundane as alleging that he wanted the social media to stop criticizing those in authority and to write only their good sides. All these are absolute falsehood.

From the excerpts of the speech quoted above, it is manifest that the President of the Senate neither called for the censorship of the social media nor alleged that the medium was being used to insult the Nigerian leaders like him. He also did not ask the social media to stop criticizing the Federal Government and write only on its good sides. Rather, he called for measures that would check the negative tendencies inherent in the use of the social media. That, I believe, is a genuine call that would help refocus the medium.

One would therefore have expected on-line publishers to join the clarion call made by Senator Mark that the assault to news gathering and dissemination being perpetrated on the social media be checked. There are several instances when social media activists have posted falsehood and readers believed them only to discover later that the post was bogus. How does this help the credibility of the social media as a medium? For instance, few days after members of the National Youth Service Corp posted to Bauchi State went to camp, a section of the social media posted falsehood that Boko Haram sect had attacked the Bauchi camp and about 50 people killed.

It was soon discovered that the information was false and totally mischievous. How can this be justified? Yet Senator Mark did not call for sanctions against those who made such posts but called for a check against such negative tendencies.

For the avoidance of doubts, the President of the Senate’s interest in the media has never been hidden and he demonstrated this in his several interfaces with the stakeholders of the industry before the passage of the Freedom of Information Bill by the 6th National Assembly.

Even at the Umuahia event, he expressed kind words for the media and its conscientious operators by saluting “the courage, doggedness and steadfastness of the Nigerian media.” Senator Mark also acknowledged the fact that “the press has been in the vanguard for the promotion and sustenance of democracy we now enjoy. Even the struggle for independence was pioneered and fought for by the Nigerian media.

“Sometimes I do disagree with you, but the media generally has fared well. They can still do more by deliberately planning and sustaining the efforts to bridge the information gap between the leaders and the led. The press can achieve this if it applies the basic principles of patriotism, accountability, transparency, and objectivity in the discharge of its duty.”

Is it not curious that some social media activists turned the table against Senator Mark by concocting lies and ascribing them to him? Was it for nothing that they ignored the details of his printed speech? Was there an agenda to deliberately denigrate his personage and cast a slur on his hard earned reputation? How else can one rationalize the insistence of some social media activists that Senator Mark called for the censorship of the medium even when his speech showed clearly that he never made such a call?

Perhaps one would have ignored some of the ridiculous posts but for the successive analysis that have been following. It is suspect that in most of these analyses of this hoax, there are subtle attempts to foist a label of “social media must be censored” on the Senate President. This is mischievous, irresponsible, wicked and unjust agenda that will not stick.

Senator Mark did not make any gaffes in his keynote address to the Senate Press Corps on the role of the media in promoting good governance.

Rather, his critics, who have continually ignored the text of his address which he read in the public, are mischief makers.

32 comments:

Alter Ego said...

Linda u have succeded in confusing me...Thank you :)

BLOGLORD said...

Mr Senate President, All this ur re-construction of english is not going to change anything. let the major change start from u and ur government. public fund embezzlement should be stopped, power, good roads, employment all of this and much more are what should be of ur major and utmost concern. leave us alone to bare our minds on blogs, twitter, facebook and all others.
U CANT TELL US TO SHUT UP!

Anonymous said...

As in!

Anonymous said...

Hahahahaha serious confusion oh

NSG Admin said...

Mark must have said it but he is now feeling the heat hence his denial. Guys I hope you watching the Olympics. Always check out for
sports info at http://naijasportsgists.wordpress.com/

Anonymous said...

This is not news to Nigerians as Nigerians have been expecting him to deny it just like he denied ever saying telephone is not for the poor.

Mamman Haruna said...

which one we go believe, true or false?

Anonymous said...

The German Immigrant says...Nobody read this write up, i bet my last Deutsche marks even Linda didnt read it lol.Ol boy Mr Mark...FOCUS.fix some roads or summin and stop trolling the internet with big english. The guys are smart ur not fooling anyone, ok if you didnt say this then who said "telephone is not for all"?...says The German Immigrant

Anonymous said...

Social media is not the problem, I could write something false is happening in USA or UK, it doesn't make the cia or mi6 to clamp down on me, I think he should encourage the masses to take news from credible blogs and social media(encourage I said),if it hurts so much, work visible to fight corruption, n pple will praise u, if not get ready 4 d blog guns n bb bombs

Anonymous said...

Now Marks feels d wrought of the ppl! Next time,u watch what u spit Mr Mark! Trying to spin it with ur paid goons aint gonna change shit.U shld be thankful to read how ppl feel abt u and ur corrupt cohorts. Smart ppl use such scoops to make positive changes.Not ranting around like a mad mkt woman.

Anonymous said...

Linda are we meant to read that?

Anonymous said...

I only read the heading...too long

Anonymous said...

Linda kilode too much story joor

Anonymous said...

Am glad our messages to them are now being heard! So let the change begin, all ye criminals who call themselves leaders. if this is a medium we get to use, let's use it. And Mark you didn't need to write a whole news paper for your message to be heard, we heard you, its just we don't care about your change of story or being misquoted, #justchange is all we ask.

Anonymous said...

stupid mark when sdem burn hym yansh see how he comes retracting nonsense did he think we were in militry rule asin well if there was all this media when he was ruling during the militry era ehhh dem for see wen yeye people.

scataa! said...

Mark is clueless! Instead of him finding a means of tackling d menace in d coun3! I jst feel lyk flogging his bombom! But make I leave am bcus na my in-law him b! Abegg as wrk no dey 4 9ja wetin we fresh gradt go do? Nonsense!, peeps make una continue with d endless use of all social media!lol..jst saying!..PSSNM

Jessica said...

He never said it. You nitwits should give the man a break! It's not easy to rig an election, if u think its easy, go rig your way to becoming Nigeria's Senate President. His enemies keep twisting his words, imbecils!

Kemikal said...

I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE DAVID MARK FOR DARING TO CLAMP DOWN ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

God, please, give us back Fela Kuti and take David Mark. We don't want him anymore.

DAVID MARK thought he'd find government support to clamp down on us and social media. David Mark is deluded. He wished his brothers and business partners (Ibrahim Babagida and Sani Abacha) were still in power. David Mark, we are not and will never return to military dictatorship ever again. The world has changed and will continue to improve. Wake up or go to hell. We want you and other looters and corrupt people like you out of government and JAILED.

There will be a revolution in NIGERIA and all the leaders of PDP, GOODLUCK JONATHAN, and DAVID MARK will SPEND THE REST OF THEIR LIFE IN JAIL. DAVID MARK BACKTRACKED ONLY BECAUSE HE GOT A BACKLASH FOR HIS IDIOTIC SPEECH. DUMBASS.

Sakara said...

D guy wAnts to run for presidency in 2015 hence d need for d rephrase, mr mark u v lost it OLODO

wetindey said...

hmmmm na wah o.

palominose said...

Story!! Why is David Mark always quoted out of context? First he was misquoted with †̥ђε̲̣̣̣̥ telephone issue now this?is he †̥ђε̲̣̣̣̥ only one in †̥ђε̲̣̣̣̥ senate? Abeg e he is a liar and a fool, †̥ђε̲̣̣̣̥ guy never says anything right, when Hilary Clinton came to Nigeria and advised against corruption, same David mark said she should go run her country and not come here to control us,oops I forgot he was misquoted again. Mtscheew arrogant thief
And no one should come on here and tell me about respecting elders o, cos respect is earned!!

palominose said...

Does david mark rig elections himself? He has touts that do †̥ђε̲̣̣̣̥ dirty work, all he does is spend his ill gotten money to finance it.

Its a shame that ur likes still exist in this country,u dare support him? and insult people speaking †̥ђε̲̣̣̣̥ truth.I guess u are related to him so u get a share of his loot,worse yet u could be one of his whores. Idiot!!

Suzy Okon said...

Aww.,, Jessica Boo boo... U are the nitwit! Sitting there spewing rubbish. It's not easy to rig an election in nigeria? Listen babe do you know my friends and I voted for the gov of Calabar when we were like 12 years old? How the hell does a 12 yr old vote? Simple... They filled out the forms for us... Got us the cards... Had his name ticked and made us thumb print!!
So what was that u were saying again abt election rigging not bin easy??? It's the easiest thing in naija babe.. Easiest! Do not vouch for these fraud esters and robbers except mayb he's ur father. In that case I'm sorry for u...

Frank Diah said...

CAN MR SENATE PRESIDENT GIVE US THE OPRIGINAL SPEECH TO READ; THIS WILL SAVE HIS MANE AND FACE; WE ARE WAITING TO READ THE ORIGINAL SCRIPT AT THE RETREAT: THANK YOU; NIGERIA LEADER POLITICIANS ARE ALWAYS DENYING THINGS THEY SAY AND DO:

Anonymous said...

Same hia oo, cldnt read. Too long

Anonymous said...

Useless man, they all think they are untouchable but time shall tell. Already heard BH dey threaten GEJ. what goes around.....

Princess of Zion said...

This week, we're introducing a new series titled "men and infidelity", I'll be addressing both men and women on how to deal with the issue, God bless-

www.princessofzion.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/men-and-infidelity

MyLife.com said...

thanks for share your idea by social media.It also operates a feedback mechanism and where the practitioners erred there is room for rebuttal.

Anonymous said...

linda make he no worry we would start insulting him now asin that is what he wants

Anonymous said...

Who's side are you on?? Governement or the masses? Dem don dey bride u abi...*sigh* on twitter @sheypoundzz

cry if u want to said...

Jessica u sound like David Mark is ur aristo.

onyinye said...

even in his speech i can clearly discern what is being said. the semantics remains the same even though the syntax differ and i find it insulting that the senate president continues to feel that he is dealing with a bunch of illiterates. how does he propose to achieve his so called accountability in the social media without the off-shot being the muzzling and effective clamp down and censorship of the outlet. the social media is the last true avenue of freedom we have left and it should be left alone no matter what. it is this quest of the ruling elite to control everything and pull the wool over our eyes that has turned the NTA and other state owned media outlets into their, albeit, ineffectual mouthpiece. my candid advice to mr mark is to do the right thing- get the economy working again, better the lives of the masses who voted you into the office and then see if this social media you are afraid of will not be your best friend.
for you linda, my friend, did you write the piece or did you copy it from elsewhere because it seems like this is the kind of thing press secretaries churn out to cover their blundering oga's ass. this is clearly the work of a larky of the senate president,so i sincerely hope you didn't write this. please maintain your integrity at all times and be extra sure to clearly state where these write ups emanate from.keep up the good work.

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