Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Communications Minister, has hinted at Government’s plans to exercise some level of control over social media content to protect vulnerable users, especially children online, ABC News can report.
She announced that the state is taking steps and would soon pass laws to criminalise the dissemination of “inappropriate content on social media platforms.”
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful averred that there would be sufficient provisions in the law to safeguard children and adolescents against online abuse.
“The Ministry is working with the Attorney General, and Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, among others to come up with the framework on child online development and welfare within the shortest possible time,” she said.
She made the declaration when she addressed stakeholders on the second day of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2019 celebration at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra.
In her submission, the Communications Minister indicated that sexual images, videos, inter alia constitute inappropriate content and gave the strongest indication that persons who would fail to abide by the law when passed will not go unpunished.
She, therefore, admonished the public to be cautious of the way they handle such messages and avoid passing them on.
She observed that a lot of children have joined the many users of the internet, especially for the purposes of learning but have become victims of cyber abuse, a situation she stressed affects their human rights, thus the need to shield them.
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful observed that most of Ghana’s laws preceded child online protection, adding that provisions need to be made to fill the voids created.
“Government has increased awareness among children across all the regions and by the end of October, 40 schools would have been reached,” she underscored.
She added that the national cybersecurity policy will be revised to match international standards.
The Ablekuma West legislator further called for the support of corporate organisations in government’s quest to protect children online as it is a collective effort.