Former United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has called for the responsible use of the social media platform ahead of the November polls.
He explains that the platform, elsewhere, has been used for healthy interactions that have positively changed the course of elections there hence, same can be replicated here.
[contextly_sidebar id=”0Uc4R8ahhyaHBENfQ0QAxnxbrfOJiwKa”]His comments come on the back of intentions of the Inspector General of Police, John Kudalor, to place a ban on social media during the November polls for what he called the irresponsible use of the platform.
Answering questions on how social media can make or break the 2016 election at the 12th Kronti Ne Akwamu Lecture in Accra on Thursday, the international statesman, Kofi Annan said a ban on social media would not be worth it.
He explained that social media must be seen as a “tool” to achieve a common purpose.
“Sometimes I hear people talk of social media revolution…it is not social media. The social media can bring people together, it can get them to go to the stadium, to a square, and have all the revolution but if there is no programme, no leader, no direction as we have seen, the revolution doesn’t hold and it falls apart very quickly.”
“So we need to consider social media as a tool. It is useful if you know how to use the tools and I think governments think they can shut this thing down and deprive their people from communication. Those are just making gains in the short term in the long run you cannot do it. Usually there have been other means of reaching out or getting the news outside their own country. We live in a global society, what you shut down here is available elsewhere and today’s world is interconnected that you may think you are keeping information from them but they get it and I don’t think it’s worth the effort,” he added.
UN against social media ban
The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWA), Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, had earlier indicated strongly that the UN would not endorse any attempts to ban social media in Ghana during elections.
“I should say without hesitation that from a UN point of view, we would be obviously averse to any steps that will amount to restricting the democratic space particularly any steps that will be taken to restrict the freedom of expression” added Ibn Chambas.
By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana