The Zimbabwe Sentinel-Media Centre

Telling the other story – MEDIA CENTRE

Analysis Uncategorized

Media and civil society should educate social media users on good conduct


Social media experts in Zimbabwe have called on the media and civic society to educate social media users on the dangers of social network platforms as they could be victims of arrest and persecution in Zimbabwe.

This emerged from discussions that took place at two day social media boot-camp organized by the Media Centre at Pandhari lodge and ended last week.

The advent of social media has given people alternative spheres to air their views, opinions and carrying online discussions on issues affecting them on a daily basis.

Most newspapers, media houses, civic society organizations and individuals have also taken advantage of the countless social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Youtube to share news, communicate directly with their audiences, while at the same time being able to get back feedback and opinions from readers.

Admire Mare who is researcher and media expect, said his research findings showed that most people used these social media platforms to vent anger, communicate with their relatives local and abroad, gossip, share advice as well as facilitating political debates. However, while using these platforms, he added that most people censored themselves because of fear of being victimized by the state authorities.

Mare added that though there were no specific laws that governed social media conduct, the state continued to use mainstream policies to charge abusive users.

“Since there are no policies that specifically regulate public conduct on Social Media platforms in Zimbabwe, mainstream policies and laws are being used to punish social media misconducts,” said Mare.

Chris Musodza, an ICT consultant called the media and civil society to play their role of educating the public on responsible use of social media.

“The media and the civic society should play a role in educating people on how to conduct themselves when using social media”, said Musodza.

Musodza further advised attendants at workshop to learn to borrow ethics from the traditional and mainstream media to help properly conduct themselves on these online platforms.

Nigel Mugamu, the founder of 263Chat an online platform that discusses issues Zimbabweans, also encouraged people to use social media platforms to communicate development issues among communities and leaders and as well as to share relevant information and educating one another on the country’s policies.

In June this year, a University of Zimbabwe student was arrested and accused of insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism after a comment he posted on Baba Jukwa Facebook platform asking for guns to fight in the streets.

The social media boot camp workshop was attended by professional and citizen journalists, information and Technology specialists, Social media specialists as well as civic society activists.


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Chief Editor: Earnest Mudzengi Content Editor: Willie Gwatimba