two steps backwards
THERE is a cartoon of four athletes competing on the race track that frequently does the rounds on social media where one, probably foolhardy contestant decides to run in the opposite direction ensuring the he would never win the race no matter how fast he runs. The behaviour by our government in seeking to ban Facebook and Twitter is no different from this cartoon character.
In the marathon race towards socio-economic development in a world which is ever shrinking, most countries have embraced and harnessed the benefits offered by technology in the form of social media where Facebook and Twitter have played a crucial role in creating networks and business synergies.
It goes without saying that these platforms have proved to be cheap affordable means of communication and yet our government wants to take a great many steps backwards in the direction of the Stone Age. As we report elsewhere, Vodacom Lesotho and Econet Telecom Lesotho have both received letters requesting them to justify why Facebook and Twitter should not be suspended.
It was not very long ago when the country was hailed for taking giant strides in implementing reforms to enhance the ease of doing business in the country. Just as we rightly praised them, now we urge the authorities to seriously re-think this measure which is retrogressive. As one analyst pointed out this is not the best way of stemming abuse of social media.
After all, free speech and expression are constitutionally guaranteed. There are legal remedies where these are abused and as such there is no need for the kind of severe measures that would have made Draco very proud. There is absolutely no need to shoot ourselves in the foot and draw negative attention to ourselves through measures that undermine civil liberties.