Shamu Wants Social Media Regulated in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe media and information Minister Webster Shamu has shockingly called for ‘appropriate’ regulation of new media in the country, as he feels they could harm society.

Now, we like Minister Shamu and most of the time he seems progressive and we like that sort of thing.

But that statement is not helpful at all.

In a country where there is a serious shortage of content he wants us to reduce it even further. The good minister, according to the government rag, The Herald,  frowned on the fact that everyone should have the right to disseminate information. Of course everyone should have the right to disseminate information. If they say stuff that is wrong or libelous then they should be held accountable for it. Essentially denying that freedom is to say people are not allowed to talk to each other, in case, they ‘disseminate’ information.

Regulation perhaps is the wrong and the good minister may have meant something a lot less cumbersome but if he indeed means that new media must only be allowed in the hands of those who are perceived as qualified to ‘disseminate information’ then it is scary.

What it will mean is that less information from Zimbabwe about Zimbabwe will be found on the Internet and once again our stories will be told by few players whose voices will be drowned by the more visible international new media organisations out of Zimbabwe. Yes, CNN, Sky, BBC, Fox and some blogger in the corner of Massachusetts with more freedom to ‘disseminate’ will… well err… ‘disseminate’.

In essence without the freedom to ‘disseminate’ information there would be no 3-mob, techzim, zimbojam or any of the new young lot out there telling Zimbabwe’s story.

Think about that.

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