Minister of Information and Communication Technology Henry Mussa has warned about the “destructive and harmful” impact of using social media incorrectly , saying the mainstream media has the responsibility to provide accurate and balanced news .
Mussa made the remarks after vising two Malawi leading daily newspaper publications, Nation and Times, in Blantyre on Monday.
He said the media should avoid sensationalising news and provide accurate information other than gutter news by some social media users.
“President Peter Mutharika signed the Access to Information Act, so there is no need to publish false or unverified information,” said Mussa.
Mussa said the Access to Information (ATI) Act will come into force early next year.
ATI was enacted in December 2016 and President Mutharuka assented to it three months later – in February 2017.
Mussa attributed the delay in effecting the ATI to delays in irregulations and awareness on the ACT and that government will complete the awareness campaign.
WhatsApp, which uses end-to-end encryption, is by far the most popular social media platform for distribution of messages in Malawi.
Facebook is also very popular social media platform where most abuses are taking place including fake news.
Instragram and Twitter are still popular but there is less abuse in these platforms.