CES put peddlers of fake news on notice
The Central Equatoria State Ministry of Information cautioned the citizens against circulating misleading or fake information on social media.
According to the Director-General in the State Ministry of Information and Communication, Umba Peter Bosco, some individuals have created fake social media accounts impersonating prominent government officials to engage in fraud.
He assured the public of the state government’s commitment to taking “legal steps” to curb the practices he termed as “monetary extortion, impersonation, and character assassination.”
“The ministry pledges to cooperate and work together with other relevant government institutions as well as victims and targets of the aforementioned criminal behaviour and activities to ensure that necessary legal steps are decided and enforced in accordance with the laws of South Sudan,” Bosco said.
“This notice serves the purpose of cautioning the general public in Central Equatoria State against certain prevailing malpractices which include monetary extortion, deprecatory impersonation, and character assassination on some social media accounts in the names of key government officials in the state government,” he said.
However, Umba pledged the state government’s commitment to respecting and protecting freedom of expression as well as the integrity and dignity of individuals.
He urged parents to guide their children on how to use social media so that they do not fall victim to malpractices.
“Parents, guardians, and adults are hereby urged to ensure that children and young people, especially those under 18 years, are guided on the responsible use of electronic gadgets and social media to protect them against some of the aforementioned criminal practices and behaviour prevailing on the internet and social media,” Umba said.
In September 2021, a photo said to be of the former Mayor of Juba City Council, Kalisto Lado, emerged on social media. The source claimed he was involved in a physical confrontation at an unconfirmed event.
However, when contacted, Kalisto told City Review that the photo lacked credibility since he was not involved in any physical confrontation with anyone, accusing the People’s Coalition for Civil Action of being behind the fake information.
“It is a photoshop from the enemies of peace and the enemies of government officials. “Maybe it is done by the People’s Coalition for Civil Action and it is character assassination,” he said.
However, City Review could not independently verify these claims.
He promised to track those who manipulated, saying the crime amounted to a cybercrime. He said such people were fighting the government through social media.
“It is a crime and anybody who made that kind of photo will be followed and will be brought to book,” he said. “There is a law that will handle this kind of thing, this is an electronic crime; it is a cybercrime that can be taken care of.”
“So, whoever did that should know that I am bigger than this propaganda and my character cannot be assassinated by such cowards who only fight the government on social media,” he said.