Fake News seems to be claiming the freedoms and lives of many. Recently in India, the spread of fake news on social media has led to the death of at least seven people. In East Africa, Uganda has recently taken the initiative to curb the spread of fake news and gossip by taxing social media services effective from July 1st. Kenya has also put in place a Computer and Cybercrimes Law to protect Kenyan Business from cybercrime and regulate Kenyan social media influencers. The citizens are prevented from sharing the fake news with harsh penalties put in place. Tanzania was first to regulate their bloggers’ influence online.
Now, Zambia is taking note and following suit by enforcing a new law that requires bloggers, Facebook and WhatsApp administrators to register with the government. This comes in a bid to curb fake news circulating social media. The government has emphasized holding administrators on social platforms responsible for the news circulating in their groups. The Zambian people have been frustrated claiming that the government wants to smother free speech and online criticism. However, the government remains adamant and has said that people must be responsible for the content they share.
Speaking on Zambian Television, the Director of Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority Mr. Mofyta Chisala said, administrators, are required to regulate and enforce a code of ethics on their social groups. Failure to do so will lead to arrests made on bloggers, editors, and coordinators for perpetrating sharing of fake news. This news comes rife as African countries are deliberate on regulating social media sharing platforms by all means. Often to unpopular reactions from their citizens.