Fake News: How Robert Mugabe Appointed A Minister For WhatsApp And Facebook

Pappi Hex

Various social media platforms today has become a major source of easily getting information to the public.

Social media platforms help in the spread of information, ideas and best of all, we keep in touch with the people who matters most to us in our lives. There are so many positive things about social media that it might take me hours to put everything into writing.

Also Read: Hate Speech: Social media networks to face up to €50m fine in Germany

Amid the good things associated with social media, one major negative aspect of it is fake news. Fake news is stories or news created deliberately to deceive or misinform the readers.

Fake news is created for several reasons, the most common of which is for political reasons. This topic reminds me of Rober Mugabe former President of Zimbabwe who appointed a minister to curb the spread of fake news and hate speech on social media platforms in the country.

The former president appointed Mr Patrick Chinamasa, a former Finance minister as head of the new Cyber Security, Threat Detection, and Mitigation ministry. However, Mr Patrick's first task was to clamp down popularly used social media platforms in the country and get rid of or regulate the use of WhatsApp and Facebook. This is where the minister got the "minister for WhatsApp and Facebook" name among Zimbabweans.

News rules regulating the use of WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media platforms in the country were made. One of such rules demanded that groups were to be registered and the administrator of the group to also have a government level clearance.

"Social media was abused to create a sense of panic, thereby creating some sort of destabilizing in the economy," Mr Patrick said.

Early Last year, an India magistrate court ruled that WhatsApp and other social media group admins were to report any fake posts or news that hurt religious sentiments to the police. Any admin who didn't take action would also be considered guilty and actions would be taken. Not long after the ruling, the Indian authorities arrested a WhatsApp group admin for not complying with the ruling.

Also Read: India threatens WhatsApp Group Admins over fake news

Malaysia too made a ruling against the distribution of fake news on social media platforms, threatening social media group admins with prosecution if they failed in stopping the distribution of fake news on their groups.

Last month, a Brazilian senator proposed a law that criminalizes the spread of fake news on the internet or other operating hoax-spreading bots. The bill proposed up to three years jail term for fake news authors.

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  1. Hello pappi hex.
    Wanted to know if there is a way to get free internet on the HURI simcard in comoros because data is really expensive here and there is only 2 network providers and there is no frer site to use as a host
    Plz help

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