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'Regulation of social media will undermine democracy'

Media Monitoring Africa has responded after State Security Minister David Mahlobo on Sunday announced plans to regulate this space.

Picture: Pixabay.com

CAPE TOWN - Media Monitoring Africa says government's possible regulation of social media would undermine democracy in the country.

State Security Minister David Mahlobo on Sunday announced plans to regulate this space in the wake of increasing fake social media posts and scams.

Mahlobo said the fact that social media posts were not verified, but were still being shared, called for civic education and awareness.

He said even the most respected democracies on the globe regulated cyberspace and was of the view that false information shared on social media called for urgent intervention.

Media Monitoring Africa Director William Bird describes the move as disturbing.

“The moment you talk about the State Security Agency becoming involved in regulating speech, I think a number of alarm bells need to be ringing. It is the sort of thing that profoundly undermines a democratic state.”

During the security cluster briefing, Mahlobo also cited the co-dependence of human rights and national security as a key reason for social media's possible regulation by government.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)