GOVERNMENT has warned of stern action against individuals, especially youths, who want to use social media platforms such as Facebook to commit criminal activities such as defamation of character.
Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo said Government will not entertain individuals who want to turn social media into platforms for breaking the law with impunity.
Mr Kampyongo’s warning is in the wake of the arrest of a 35-year-old student of DMI St Eugene University in Lusaka for allegedly defaming the President, Cabinet ministers, other senior government and Patriotic Front (PF) officials on his Facebook page.
Speaking to journalists yesterday, Mr Kampyongo said Government has observed with regret the continued abuse of social media platforms by some youths with impunity.
“If you defame someone, for example, by word of mouth, it is not any different when you use social media to commit the same crime. No-one is going to hide behind social media. Youths should use their energies and their information and communication technology intelligence to seek solutions for the challenges they are facing,” Mr Kampyongo said.
He said it is sad that intelligent youths have unrepentantly resorted to using social media platforms to concoct fake stories aimed at defaming innocent citizens.
“Most of these youths are educated and so they should use their energies and utilise social media platforms much more meaningfully. They can use it as a platform to exchange ideas which should be meaningful to the youths themselves and to the nation as a whole,” Mr Kampyongo said.
He said law enforcement agencies will pounce on members of the public who want to use social media for mischievous activities that threaten social order and cohesion.