Malawi Justice Minister Samuel Tembenu has cautioned citizens against using social media such as Facebook and online news comments page as platforms of spreading hateful messages against government and individuals.
Tembenu said social media should not be abused as a hotbed of slander and defamation, saying though government will not cap down on free speech on internet, has called for responsibility to users.
“I am sure you will agree with me that the emergence of social media coupled with some peoples misunderstanding of human rights has brought with it its own challenges,” Tembenu said at the freedom of expression awards night organized by Free Expression Institute (EFI)
“People should not think that their right to freedom of expression is a blank cheque that allows them to slander others or use profane or obscene language that has potential to cause unrest or civil strife,” said Tembenu.
“Freedom of expression is extremely important in a democracy because it enables people to speak out freely, to seek access to information and to be able to hold, import or relay opinions,” he added.
Government spy agents have a command center that routinely monitors, blogs, social media including Facebook, Twitter and news and gossip sites including the Nyasa Times Report, according to sources at Office of President and Cabinet.
An official familiar with the monitoring program said that it was intended purely to “gather information.”
National Intelligence officials authorized to speak for the Bureau did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.