The Ghanaian government has come out to denounce the alleged plans that it will shut down social media platforms just before and during the 2020 elections. This follows the allegations from a Ghanaian social media personality and a blogger in the US, Kevin Taylor.
Taylor recently asserted that the Ghanaian Government has plans of shutting down social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others, through the National Communications Authority. This, he says, would happen before and during the 2020 Parliamentary and Presidential Elections.
According to Taylor, the alleged plans were put in place in order to influence the outcome of the polls. Well, the Minister of Communications, Min. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has addressed the issue. She confirmed that the government has no plans of taking down the social networking platforms in the run-up to the 2020 general elections or whatsoever. The Minister has, thus, urged the citizens to ignore any such reports and consider them as fake news.
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The Chief Executive Officer of the Communications Authority, Joe Anokye, also debunked that there were no such plans. He then added that the NCA as a Ghanaian communications regulatory body does not have any authority to shut down social media sites.
Relating to the shutdown of media platforms, the Communications Minister has confirmed from the FM Stations Audit that 57 FM stations in the country had been closed down. The audit was carried out between 2017 and 2019 and it is within that period that those FM stations were shut down. The 57 stations are part of 114 radio stations that were found of various regulatory violations as directed by the Electronic Communications Tribunal.
Out of the 57 closed down FM stations, 30 of them have re-submitted fresh applications for FM authorisation, and 15 of them have already been processed.