According to reports making the rounds in Ghana, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), John Kudalor is considering a ban on Social Media during the 2016 Elections which is slated for December 7. Read more here
I believe when the IGP first made the suggestion about placing a ban on Social media the general outcry that followed was evident enough to demonstrate that Ghanaians don’t want to be put through this kind of censure.
Social media has come to stay in Ghana. Yes it has become part of our routine. Therefore I understand the reason Ghanaians do not want to be deprived of this flexibility to be everywhere and say their mind at all times. So why is the IGP insisting on this?
It is not only the ordinary Ghanaians who have expressed their displeasure about the IGP’s suggestion. Civil society organizations and some elite personalities have also come out to condemn what will be considered an infringement on the freedom of the people to communicate and be informed.
Honestly, I don’t know where the IGP is coming from. I mean what is the precedence of banning social media during the election period? In as much as I am speaking from the layman’s view, are there any indications to suggest that the impending elections would be threatened by people’s ability to freely say their minds.
It is true that the peace of this nation is what interest everybody and for that matter measures to prevent any mayhem during the elections are welcome. But a ban on social media in my opinion is not the way to go.
We have had social media during the 2012 Elections and no incidences were linked to its use. It is true that social media penetration has grown considerably over the period in between the last elections and the upcoming one. But then again what is the motivation factor for a possible ban now?
Ghana is a thriving democracy that respect the rights of its citizens. Ghana is a democracy that allows freedom of speech. Ghana has always been regarded as one of the most liberal countries in Africa. So where does placing a ban on social media placed Ghana in the scheme of things?
Has the IGP considered the financial implications of a possible ban to the many companies that are powered by social media?
The Police Service should be more proactive in dealing with a possible threat to the peace of the nation via social media. This inflexible way of dealing with things isn’t the way to go at all.