By Anayo Onukwugha, Port Harcourt
Convener of Unity House Foundation (UHF), a good governance advocacy group, Kingsley Wenenda Wali, has said he and his friends instituted the annual Port Harcourt City Facebook Awards to encourage decency and integrity on the social media.
The second edition of the award, which was held in Port Harcourt last Thursday was won by Olalekan Ige, a journalist and editor of a local weekly tabloid, the Independent Monitor Newspaper.
Wali, who spoke yesterday on a live television programme monitored in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, expressed the belief that the award will go a long way to moderate the kind of views people hold on Facebook.
He said: “So, I and some friends of mine felt that it will be nice if we try to moderate the kind of views people hold on Facebook. For us, we felt the best way to do that is not to cajole them; it is not to go physical with them but to try to reward good behaviour on Facebook.
“So, that will become an incentive for people who will do the right thing and disincentive for people who will ordinarily go towards the negative part of public interaction.
“So, it is basically to encourage people to do that which is decent, tidy and with integrity. That is why we instituted the process in 2019. We pray and hope that it gets better.”
Wali stated that it was erroneous for people to think that Facebook is where someone can come and say whatever they like because it is a spaceless platform.
The UHF Convener said: “I think it is very important that we bother about the kind of information our people take in and release considering the fact that a lot of people are on social media.
“It is only pertinent that we try to model the communication on Facebook, that is the one most people are on in terms of ordinary Nigerians. So, we bother about what kind of conversation go on there are how people receive and give the conversation that takes place there.
“There has been this misconception that because it is a mass communication platform that some people think they can come there and say whatever they like. Because it is spaceless, you can say whatever you like, create pain and move on.”