Somaliland and Social Media
After numerous years of writing and expressing my concerns https://m.facebook.com/groups/309184805824270/permalink/608747172534697/ about Somaliland’s use of social media, the Somaliland Supreme Court has issued a ruling allowing the government to block access to social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for individuals who promote discord or collaborate with the country’s adversaries.
The Somaliland government is attempting to restrict access to certain journalists who have reported on the ongoing crisis in Lasanod, accusing the government of genocide and amplifying the voices of former Unionists who have pledged loyalty to Somalia. Additionally, these journalists who support those who have made threats of war against the Republic of Somaliland unless it relinquishes their claimed ancestral lands. Some of these journalists have also disseminated propaganda intended to create divisions within Somaliland and undermine the morale of its military.
France, Canada, Germany, and the United States, which value freedom of expression and media as fundamental components of their democratic systems, have implemented legislation to address the dissemination of false information and the promotion of violence.
It is ambiguous that the Somaliland telecommunications companies are following the court’s direction that was promulgated three months ago.
I understand that discussions are under way between the Ministry of Telecommunications and Technology and the telecommunications operators in this regard.
The telecommunications companies in Somaliland, which are owned by the major banks in the region, appear to operate independently from the government’s influence, there is still ambiguity surrounding the court injunction and will see if I can get more info regarding this court order.
The court’s decision to take action against the media for inciting and spreading disinformation is viewed as a positive development, and the current efforts being made to enforce it are seen as a step in the right direction.
To maintain peace and stability in Somaliland, it is crucial to limit the dissemination of misinformation and disinformation on social media, while still respecting freedom of the press and expression and adhering to the rule of law.
It is becoming increasingly common for false information to be spread with malicious intent, so the Ministries of Information and Technology must work together to combat this digital aggression. Enforcing the law fairly will be essential in this effort.
The issue of balancing freedom of expression with protecting individuals from harmful content can be a sensitive matter. It remains to be seen whether government interventions on social media are effective and fair, and it is crucial to ensure that all measures taken align with international human rights norms.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Araweelo News Network.
Ahmed_Yasin Mohamed Jama