Police backtrack on social media ban

The Ghana Police Service has clarified its position on the controversial plan to ban social media on Election Day.

According to the Communications Director of the Police, the ban was one of the alternatives under consideration but the Police will not shutdown social media on November 7, the day of Ghana’s general elections.

The Inspector General of Police, John Kudalor had earlier suggested that a social media blackout on November 7 was being considered as a way to  counter the activities of potential ‘troublemakers’ who might disrupt the election process using these platforms.

“At one stage I said that if it becomes critical on the eve and also on the election day, we shall block all social media as other countries have done. We’re thinking about it,” John Kudalor had said.However, speaking at Blogging Ghana’s Blog camp on Saturday, the Director of Communications at the Police Service, Cephas Arthur said the IGP made the comments on the spur of the moment and that there were no plans in place to ban social media on November 7.

“The IGP used the word alternatives but it looks as if nobody heard the other alternatives that he mentioned because nobody is discussing that. This was not part of his speech. It was a kind of off the top of his head answer.

“Let us not be alarmed. The IGP is not about to block social media on election day and we are going to have our social media,” Cephas Arthur said.

The IGP’s comments had generated widespread criticism from the general public who felt such an action would represent suppression of freedom of speech.

Source: Ghana Decides