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Gov’t invites Facebook team to police social media users ahead of election

With the growing challenge Cameroon is facing in controlling social media sites today, the Government has invited a team of the world’s leading social media site, Facebook to Cameroon to come to her rescue.

The team which started work on August 6 with a visit to the Minister of Communication, Issa Tchiroma, would be in the country for nine days.

In a letter addressed to the Minister of Communication and signed by the Director of Civil Cabinet at the Presidency of the Republic, Samuel Mvondo Ayolo, the purpose of the visit is to fight against what he termed “Fake News.”

“The purpose of the visit is the eradication of Fake News during the period of election,” Samuel Mvondo said.

Director of Civil Cabinet at the Presidency of the Republic, Samuel Mvondo Ayolo

In the course of their stay the delegation is expected to have working sessions with the Minister of Communication and services attached to it like the State media and the National Communication Council (NCC). It shall also be meeting members of the communication units of the Ministries of Defence, Justice, Territorial Administration, the Police and the National Gendarmerie so that they can monitor and suppress false information online.

In recent times, the Government of Cameroon has been facing a huge challenge from the social media, especially Facebook where Government secrets and confidential documents have been leaked to the public. Moreover, one of the main dynamos of the Anglophone conflict is the social media whereby Cameroonians residing abroad are able to pass orders to those on the ground. Ambazonia activists and Government have merely been using social media as their main means of communicating their ideology to the people, a move which Government has been unable to counteract. Moreover, videos of military excesses have also been exposed on social media which warranted Defence Minister, Joseph Beti Assomo, to ban soldiers from using social media until when authorised.

The social media, notably Facebook was actually the motor in the Arab spring which saw long serving Presidents abdicating their thrones. In some countries like China and North Korea, the Government has been able to check and control social media sites and their contents making sure citizens get only what regime barons want them to see.