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Is blocking social media not regressive? - Jon Benjamin

British High Comm Jon Benjamin British High Commissioner to Ghana, Jon Benjamin

Fri, 27 May 2016 Source:

“Is shutting down social media, even for a day, not a regressive step incompatible with a democratic, open society?” British High Commissioner to Ghana Jon Benjamin has asked.

Mr Benjamin’s rhetorical question posted on twitter is in response to a proposal by Ghana’s Inspector General of Police (IGP), John Kudalor, to block social media in Ghana on Election Day.

Arguing in support of his proposal, Mr Kudalor said the use of social media by politicians, especially from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), for election-related activities, has created political tensions in the country, thus, his suggestion to go the Ugandan way, where President Yoweri Museveni (recently re-elected for a fifth term) had all social media sites blocked on election day as a “security measure to avert lies”.

Meanwhile, Prof Audrey Gadzekpo of the School of Communication Studies at the University of Ghana has warned that any attempt by the IGP to block social media in Ghana on Election Day will be resisted via protests by social media users. She described the move as “a knee-jerk reaction”.