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Government’s Proposal to Regulate Social Media Draws Criticism from Media Personality

The government’s recent proposal to regulate social media has sparked controversy, drawing criticism from media personality Jackson Demus Phiri popularly known as Deejay Showstar, who argues that such measures are counterproductive and stifling to freedom of expression.

In a scathing critique, Phiri highlighted the country’s penchant for excessive regulation, lamenting that the proposed inclusion of social media in broadcasting licensing laws is not only illogical but detrimental to the nation’s progress.

He asserted that instead of fostering creativity and innovation, the government’s approach represents a step backward.

Phiri pointed out that social media is already subject to regulation under the Cyber Act, questioning the necessity of additional measures.

He warned that imposing further restrictions would not only infringe upon people’s right to express opinions but also hinder innovation and disadvantage young individuals competing with established media outlets.

Moreover, Phiri criticized the severity of proposed penalties, including imprisonment for up to five years for social media offenders. He questioned the rationale behind such harsh punishment for merely expressing opinions online.

Reminding the government of its promises, Phiri noted President HH and the UPND’s commitment to repealing the Cyber Act to ensure the youth’s freedom in cyberspace. He urged authorities to focus on refining existing legislation rather than introducing burdensome regulations.

Referencing President HH’s past struggles with media suppression, Phiri emphasized the importance of upholding free expression, particularly on social media platforms. He cautioned against repeating past mistakes and called for a reconsideration of the proposed regulations.

In conclusion, Phiri urged the UPND to uphold its principles and serve the people diligently, rather than resorting to oppressive tactics. He invoked a sense of historical perspective, warning against straying from the path of progress.

The government’s proposal to regulate social media continues to face scrutiny and opposition from various quarters, highlighting the ongoing debate over freedom of expression and digital rights in Zambia.

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