Gov’t will not Shut down Social Media – NCA

The government on Monday debunked assertions that it will shut down all social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others, in the run-up to the 2020 Parliamentary and Presidential Elections.

Mr Kevin Taylor, a Social Media Commentator and Blogger based in the United States, recently alleged that the Government, through the National Communications Authority (NCA) had hatched plans to shut down the social media before and during the 2020 general elections in order to influence the outcome of the polls.

However, Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful, the Minister of Communications, while addressing the media when she took her turn at the Meet-the-Press Series in Accra, said the government has no plans of shutting down the networking sites.

She, therefore, urged all well-meaning Ghanaians to disregard the report and treat it as fake news, which only existed in the flimsy imagination of persons making the allegation.

Mr Joe Anokye, the Chief Executive Officer of the NCA, who added his voice to the Minister’s call, said the NCA has no mandate to shut down social media, and thus, urged Ghanaians to disregard it.

Meanwhile, Mrs Owusu Ekuful, giving an update on the FM Station Audit, which was carried out between 2017 and 2019, said 57 FM stations were closed down within the period, out of the 144 identified for various regulatory infractions as directed by the Electronic Communications Tribunal.

She said so far, 30 out of the 57 FM stations that were closed down have submitted fresh applications for FM authorisation, and 15 of them already processed.

The Minister said the remaining 15 applications are being processed, which include; technical and management reviews as well as the approval of the Board.

She, therefore, said it was factually incorrect and blatant untruth for the former President John Mahama and the West Africa Media Foundation to make categorical statements that, only FM stations having loyalty to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) were closed.