PETER Hoekstra, who is a Dutch American politician serving as the United States Ambassador to the Netherlands was recently quoted saying good governance requires working towards common ground which he said is not easy.
We thus hail the government for the proposed Cyber Bill to protect the public from false information.
As Mr Chipampe has stated, among its many benefits, cyber laws being proposed by government through the Ministry of Transport and Communication would help bring to book people involved in cyber crimes.
The Bill will ensure that abuse of the net like peddling fake news that we are witnessing is curtailed for the public to differentiate between professional journalism and mere communication.
Let’s face it, apart from spawning cyber crime, the internet through social media has birthed quack journalists and phantom, faceless commentators who are libelling, cheapening journalism and the presidency with impunity.
Whatever it is called, Cyber Bill, Cybercrime Bill or Cybercrime Act will help to police what one posts online since some of the information borders on treason, slander and hate speech.
The bill will also tackle cybercrime which is on the increase making the legislation long overdue to keep people safe from criminals, terrorists and other peddlers of unpalatable material that can disturb the peace.
The traditional media, is under siege since people can now easily communicate with media tools such as mobile phones and computers all in the name of technology.
There are many reasons why progressive Zambians should support government to control the media. Firstly, the government is responsible to keep the vulnerable groups like teenagers to ensure they grow in a healthy environment since they could be harmed by the modern media like the internet which has destructive sites peddling pornography.
For example, in Japan, adult movies are legal and they are available on TV channels which are accessed by young people.
Secondly, the media is sometimes used by criminals for criminal dealings.
Abuse of the internet in Zambia would make one understand why the Chinese government has blocked some websites such as YouTube and Face book.
Even in countries like America, which are considered to be liberal, recently, Congress grilled Twitter, Facebook and Google about their role, allowing in foreign interests to place ads and articles intended to divide the electorate and spread false information during the 2016 election.
Now a number of people in and out of government are calling for federal regulations on social media.
Isn’t this a wake up call for countries like Zambia to prevent the infestation of fake news that is threatening democracy?
We say this knowing very well that the government has an obligation to stop someone from “falsely shouting fire in a theatre.”
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