The rise of social media usage in the last decade has caught governments all over the world unawares since it has made communication easier between citizens. That’s why we have seen several governments, especially in Africa, imposing bans on social media use on their citizens.
It seems now South Africa wants to go along this route of regulating social media as reported by the Times Live. South Africa’s Minister of State Security, David Mahlobo was questioned on what intelligence services were doing to deal with misleading information on social media.
“There is a lot of peddling that is going on,” he said, and apparently added that the government was contemplating regulating the medium. “Even the best democracies that are revered are regulating social media. Most of our challenges are coming from that space. We will discuss how we will regulate it.”
Fake news also has become a huge problem and South Africa also wants to curb its spread. According to the report, Mahlobo was quoted as saying instead of social media providing “endless opportunities” for personal and business interaction, it had become host to negative and untrue opinions.
We have seen African countries that have regulated social media in a way like how Uganda did during the elections or when Ethiopia had the emergency and when Algeria did it thanks to exams. Kenya was also reported to be spending quite a lot of money on a social media monitoring system for the election.
Well the UN passed a resolution last year which said that Internet disruption is a human rights violation and it seems governments are unfazed by this since it is non binding.