Rwandan Gov’t officials to counter ‘harmful’ propaganda through social media

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By GLV reporter
KIGALI-All top government officials in Rwanda have been ordered to sign up to the social media networks like facebook and twitter in an effort to counter opposition propaganda, Great Lakes Voice has learnt.
The decision was made during a recent government retreat in Rubavu district, Sothern province.
A highly placed source who attended the retreat in Lake Kivu Serena hotel told GLV that the resolution was made after a presentation by a media consultant who was invited to advice government on communication strategies.
“We were told to sign-up to the social networks such as facebook and twitter; but am not an expert in IT, though we have to be,” the source said, preferring not be revealed since they are not authorized to speak for the government.
In a telephone interview with the Director General in the Ministry of Information, Mr. Ignatius Kabagambe, confirmed the reports, saying it is a government initiative to effectively use media
“We agreed to improve on using the media outlets including social networks. Though it is called social media, it’s interactive, informative and much politics is discussed there,” Ignatius Kabagambe said.
According to our source, government views social media networks as an important tool through which to communicate its policies and every minister, Director General and Permanent Secretary etc will be obliged to have an account.
Struggle to control free flow of information?
In a related development, the government through the Ministry of Information has moved to regulate on-line media
Speaking to The Great Lakes Voice, Ignatius Kabagambe neither denied nor accepted his Ministry’s efforts to amend the media law to regulate on-line media.
Our source in his Ministry revealed to this publication that the effort to have the article in the media law to control on-line publication is in the pipeline.
“Where did you get the information?” he questioned.
“Anyway, the media of Rwanda is regulated under the media law. But, if there is no article to regulate the on-line publication in Rwanda, we shall have it,” Mr. Kabagambe said when asked if the article to regulate on-line publication is being readied.
The developments have emerged at the time when the on-line versions of two local tabloids, and, where blocked in Rwanda.
Government owned regulatory body, Media High Council has established on-line monitoring department which monitors the content of the websites.
It is apparent that if the government proceeds to amend the media law and assert controls on online media, legal basis for blocking unfavorable websites will be established.

This post has already been read 52279 times!



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