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Ghana Akufo-Addo

Ghana moves to criminalise sharing of fake, inapt social media content

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In what may translate to gagging ‘Citizen Journalism’, Ghanaian Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has given strong indication that government is working on a bill that would soon criminalise the sharing of inappropriate social media content.

According to her, the awaited law would come with strict penalties that will discourage sending, retaining, and sharing of such contents.

Addressing stakeholders on the second day of the National week celebration of the Cyber Security Awareness Month 2019 held at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Teshie, Accra, she cited sexual images as an example of inappropriate content.

The programme themed “Demonstrating Ghana’s Cyber Security Readiness,” brought together security agencies, heads of departments, school children and others to discuss Child Online Protection (COP) and develop a framework to curb the risk posed to young people for using the internet.

The Minister said there would be sufficient provision in the law to protect children and adolescents from online abuse and therefore, called on the public to be wary of such messages, delete as soon as they received them, and avoid passing them on.

She added that “The Ministry is working with the Attorney General, and Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, among others to come-up with the framework on child online development and welfare within the shortest possible time.

She pointed out that most of the laws of Ghana were enacted before child online protection came up, as a result, sufficient laws should be put in place to protect children being abused on the Internet.

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