Ministry of Information and Media Director and Spokesperson Thabo Kawana is calling for responsible use of cyberspace platforms such as social media and websites.
Mr. Kawana said the Ministry of Information and Media was concerned that social media is being used to publish false or faked information.
Featuring on ZNBC TV’s Sunday Interview, Mr. Kawana acknowledged that social media abuse creates a very difficult environment for his ministry as it operates.
He said the Ministry of Information and Media is on many occasions kept busy in clarifying false information concerning the Government.
Mr. Kawana said false or fake information has the potential to mislead people into making decisions from a misinformation point of view.
“Social media does create a very difficult environment because half the time the information that you have on social media is fake, false and purely misinformation, simply put misinformation. So you are kept busy trying to look at the gravity of that misinformation. And also ensure that you put the correct information out there because when you allow misinformation to continue or untruths to continue and they are told so many times and posted so many times they become truths in the eyes of the people,” he said.
“Some of them are worth just ignoring. You can tell that even the person reading will know that this is fake. And others require that you respond and put them in the correct position so that the people are not misled. And in the process people may make decisions based on false information,” Mr. Kawana said.
The Ministry of Information and Media Director expressed confidence that there is hope to restore civility on cyberspace and social media in particular.
Mr. Kawana said social media must be used progressively.
“There is hope for civility because if every one of us is responsible and decides to use the cyber space in a responsible manner in a manner that brings progress in a manger that builds instead of destroying. In a manner that fosters development instead of taking the country backwards. The hope is there that we can get somewhere using cyberspace. But if we continue on that trajectory where we want to utilize cyberspace to bring down people’s personalities,” he said.
“There are a whole lot of personal attacks and trying to bring each other down and posting fake information about people all aimed at tearing apart their reputation. I think that that trajectory will not help the country. So the hope is that all of us including the politicians, the civil society and the ordinary citizens we should take it upon ourselves that we use the cyberspace for putting out information in a responsible manner,” Mr. Kawana said.
Mr. Kawana took time to comment on the New Dawn Government’s fight against corruption and the prolonged pending enactment of the Access to Information Law.
Without specifying the period, Mr. Kawana said the Access to Information Bill will be enacted into law under the UPND administration.
“I can tell you and pledge to all the concerned stakeholders that this administration will see the life of this piece of legislation and that is why I have just confirmed to you that last week the ministry has been sitting and looking at the comments that have come from stakeholders. We appreciate its importance and we can assure you that it will see its life within this administration. Currently we are following the roadmap, at an appropriate time the media and the public will be informed that now we are ready and now it is going to Parliament,” he said.
On the UPND Government’s crusade against corruption, Mr. Kawana said the battle was neither political nor tribal.