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Thursday, May 26, 2016

EXCLUSIVE! GHANA POLICE SERVICE CONSIDERING BLOCKING SOCIAL MEDIA ON ELECTION DAY


The Inspector General of Police (IGP) John
Kudalor has announced the Ghana Police Service
is considering blocking social media across the
country on election day.
He is concerned that social media could be used
as a tool for misinformation thus posing a danger
to the nation’s security during the polls.
"At one stage I was even saying that if it
becomes critical on the eve and the election day
we shall block all social media as other countries
have done. So we are thinking about it," John
Kudalor said at a media interaction in Accra,
Thursday.
In a later interview with Joy News, he said “If
people are churning out the type of information
which are quite false then why not? The security
of this nation is paramount.”
According to him, blacking out Facebook, Twitter
and other media platforms is one of the several
options under discussion.
The black-out, he said, would be less than 24
hours, from 7am to 5pm, which are the voting
hours in Ghana.
The IGP said Ghana can learn from examples in
other African countries which limited the use of
social media on election day.
Uganda, in a surprise move, shut down social
media on election day February 19, 2016. Voters
woke up to realize their to access social media
platforms has been cut.
Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni defended
the ban as a "security measure to avert lies ...
intended to incite violence and illegal declaration
of election results."
Several countries have interfered with or banned
access to the social networking website
Facebook, including Bangladesh , China , Iran ,
North Korea and Syria although the bans were
not related to elections.
The impact of social media on elections has
become a fascinating subject for research among
social scientist. One study published in 2012
found that Facebook feeds have a significant
impact on voting patterns.
In the US, political analysts have observed that
social media could decide who wins the
presidential elections in November.