Let’s just get into this really quick: This is a bad idea, it will fail and it will not work.
OK. Let’s talk about the backstory:
When Uganda was having their election. In February, the Ugandan government shut down social media in the country with the president Yoweri Museveni believing that it was a “security measure to avert lies” as he was re-elected for a fifth term in office.
Let’s just ignore the fact that President Yoweri Museveni has been ruling the nation for the last 30 years. But I think the issue of African presidents not relinquishing power and staying in power is another debate for another blog.
Now, the Ghana Police want to follow the example of Uganda and shut down social media on the eve of and also on election day.
Social media is the best way of circulating news in a rapid and more efficient way. Of course, people tend to abuse social media at times, spreading false news and rumors. But banning social media is basically throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Considering the fact that the Ghana Police doesn’t even have any serious social media presence, it’s kind of laughable that they want to outright try to ban it.
They are still mulling over the idea but the option is definitely on the table. Of course, free speech advocates will have a field day over this proposal.
I think the best option would be to put out education and social awareness about spreading news on social media when the news has not been verified. Until the source of a news item has been verified, it’s best to not hit “Send” when it hits your phone.
As election day approaches, it seems everyone is getting tense about everything. But let’s not throw all sensibilities out the window.