I watched Norton Member of Parliament, Hon Temba Mliswa ‘s Press conference, where he was attacking Journalists who published a trending story about his alleged relationship with some lady.
The Hon MP painfully defended himself as he admits he is shocked and devastated by what he says it’s a possible ploy to destroy him by journalists who either are paid by his enemies or simply are looking for attention by using his name.
To some extent I feel the pain he is going through as I have on several occasions experienced that, being a victim of social media peddling fake stories.
Its not up to me to qualify the authenticity of Mliswa’s story but I totally agree that the Law must be tightened against Fake news in order to protect innocent people.
Yes there is always a price to pay for being popular I agree but there must be an even higher price for any media practitioner or journalist who publishes fake news on any platform.
People and news sites are busy posting and publishing fake and unsubstantiated stuff simply because they are desperate for followings or money.
I’m just disappointed that it took an incident that affects him personally to commit to move a Bill in parliament to tighten Media Laws as he vows he will.
These things have been happening for years. Media is harassing and haranguing innocent people publishing falsehoods with impunity, both private and state media.
Journalists poverty is being taken advantage of, they write what they are paid to write even if it means destroying innocent people’s integrity or even families to some extent.
Withstanding the foregoing, I am glad to hear that social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp are tightening screws on their operational policies working in conjunction with governments of the world.
I was discussing with Facebook’s Information & Communication Law Director recently and he has confirmed that the issue of Fake News is now of a high priority in the company. I’m even more pleased to hear that they are open to working with African media influencers to overcome this global challenge. I will play my role in that regard for sure.
Fake News peddling should attract a jail sentence anywhere in the world. It is as dangerous as Drugs!
God Bless Zimbabwe ! God Bless Africa!