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Do not ban social media during election - Kofi Annan

He said social media has its advantages as well as its disadvantages, but one is expected to reap a certain form of benefit depending on how they use it and who leads the usage.

Kofi Annan
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He was speaking at the Center for Democratic Development’s (CDD) 12th ‘Kronti ne Akwamu’ Lecture on Thursday. He said social media has its advantages as well as its disadvantages, but one is expected to reap a certain form of benefit depending on how they use it and who leads the usage.

“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 program, no leader, no direction as we have seen, the revolution doesn’t hold and it falls apart very quickly.”

His comments come off the back of a proposal by the IGP to ban social media on Election Day.

For the former UN Secretary-General, he expects stakeholders to see social media as a useful tool for communicating to the citizens on such platforms rather than shutting it down

”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 said.

Meanwhile the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWA), Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, had also said that the UN is “averse to any steps to restrict” Ghana’s “democratic space” through banning social media.

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