Panos Institute Southern Africa has advised government to find an alternative way of curbing yellow journalism or fake news without restricting social media or infringing on citizens’ rights.
According to a statement made available to ZANIS , today, PANOS Executive Director Lilian Kiefer said her institution was concerned at reports indicating that government intends to restrict access to some social media platforms like Facebook.
Mrs Kiefer observed that this development could infringe on the Right to Freedom of Expression which she said would threaten the country’s democracy.
She added that this could lead to limited participation by Zambians in the global village, and curtail the growth of ICT based businesses.
She explained that social media platforms were an important source of information for the citizens and has in many cases been used by citizens to engaged government on issues of national interest.
She has appealed to government not to ban social media sites like Facebook but instead work with stakeholders to a way of curbing abuse and ensuring that social media was used for communication that can shape the country’s development.
Transport and Communications Minister Brian Mushimba was recently quoted in the media saying government was contemplating restricting social media in the country noting that some people were highly abusing this platform.