Regulating the Social Media… Role of Mobile Phone Companies
Apparently, social media is becoming more of a curse than a blessing and mobile phone companies including internet service providers have a pivotal role to play in regulating them.
Many have now resorted to the indecent act of misusing and polluting the social media with pornographic and other indecent materials often targeting prominent personalities possibly for political or other reasons. The flood of immoral materials that keep parading the social media, especially during this holy month of Ramadan, has become a cause for the concern of even the Government of Sierra Leone, the Independent Media Commission (IMC) and the country’s telecommunications regulatory body, the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM) which has already given two weeks ultimatum to all Telecom Operators to duly register the SIM and UIM cards of all their subscribers or face the appropriate regulatory measure provided by the law.
Recently, one of the Commissioners of the IMC, Alhaji Dauda Musa Bangura, and the Coordinator in the office of the government spokesman, Abdulai Baraytay were over the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation, SLBC TV, raising concern over the rampant misuse of the social media. Commissioner Bangura blamed mobile service providers for failing to heed the IMC’s continuous advice for the registration of the SIM cards of all their subscribers, a failure that is making it difficult for the commission to trace and penalize those engaged in posting obnoxious materials on the social media. The Commissioner even suggested that mobile phone companies establish a SIM card data base to help the Commission crack down on those who misuse the social media with impunity.
This press shares the view that the registration of the SIM cards of all the subscribers of the mobile phone companies is very crucial to the regulating of the social media. Government must step in to ensure that all SIM cards are registered; this can help a long way in tracing and penalizing those who have made it a habit to be disseminating immoral and libelous items on the social media.
Mobile service providers must not neglect their role in ensuring that the SIM cards of all their subscribers are registered; a neglect of such pivotal role could leave many prominent and decent people at the mercy of the social media which is now being misused by some unscrupulous members of the public as a weapon to settle personal or political scores.
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