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Tanzania Government Inspired By China's Controversial Censorship Of Social Media

Commentary | Tanzania August 2, 2017

Speaking at a China - Tanzania Media Roundtable held in Dar es Salaam recently, Tanzania's deputy minister of communications Edwin Ngonyani praised China for managing to block Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and replacing them with some local sites. He also said social media, implying Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, when left unregulated, has the power to shape ideas and mindsets of people, hence can lead to instability! But whether his utterance makes sense is highly questionable, given the fact that overall global evidence suggests that social media he is referring to and castigating, is to the contrary, a wonderful thing! It has transformed the lives of many people in numerous good ways including enhancing individual freedom as more people are made aware about what the concept entails. What could therefore make sense is such popular shaping of ideas and mindsets as observed by the deputy minister, is more likely to make it difficult for authoritarian governments to control their citizens, especially the youth who are passionate users of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Notwithstanding, China's censorship of social media is very controversial and has been condemned worldwide. However, such censorship is not surprising. China is one of a handful of remaining one party communist countries in the world! Total control of the populace is intrinsic political feature of such countries, and strict regulation of social media is one of the most effective ways of achieving that. As such, for Tanzania, a multi-party democratic African country to seek social media inspiration and perhaps help from such a country, leaves much to be desired! _____________________________ © 2015 - 2017 Africauptodate. All Rights Reserved

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