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General News Thu, 11 Aug 2016

Social media ban necessary - Irbard

Security analyst and peace ambassador for the 2016 general elections, Irbard Ibrahim, insists social media must be shut down in Ghana on Election Day as was earlier proposed by Inspector General of Police John Kudalor.

The suggestion by the police chief was met with a barrage of criticism.

But speaking to Class News on Wednesday, 10 August on the sidelines of a forum on social media ban and its implications, Mr Ibrahim said: “The level of online bullying and Facebook aggression we’ve seen could spill over onto the streets of Accra. I am a young person; I appreciate the fact that the world has made giant technological strides. I wish every polling station will have a CCTV camera for the sake of transparency. I wish every polling station agent could be on Skype to report to their headquarters, but a chunk of our young people who are on Facebook and Twitter have not exuded the needed responsibility. It’s just like gun control laws. People need a gun to protect themselves, but the gun could be used as a lethal tool to commit an act of homicide or criminality. So, what do you do? Do you proliferate guns or you put stringent measures [in place] to make sure those guns are not used for crime?” he asked.

Mr Ibrahim disagreed with suggestions that instead of a total social media blackout on Election Day, activities of people on social media should be regulated. “How do you do that?” he asked.

"Do you go to every guy in the café to regulate their activities? It's just like cybercrime. Cybercrime has become very difficult for sub-Saharan Africa to control. Class FM as a radio station is duly licensed, traceable, and can be held accountable, but the level of anonymity where someone is called Irbard but uses a pseudonym and has access to thousands of Ghanaians, can fabricate, photoshop and spread false information on Election Day – that is the danger and that is why we are calling for a regulation and proper monitoring so that we are not taken unawares.”

Mr Ibrahim added: “As a country, we can’t mortgage our national security for the sake of social media freedom. Our young people have not shown enough responsibility and we need to do something about it on Election Day.”
Source: classfmonline.com
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