Gov’t Warns of Criminal Penalties

Declaration by the minister of posts and telecommunications within the framework of the awareness campaign for a responsible use of social media in Cameroon.

For the past few days, subscribers of the various mobile telephone companies in Cameroon, namely Camtel, MTN, Orange and Viettel, have been receiving text messages urging them to make a responsible use of social media, and warning them of the criminal penalties provided by law in Cameroon for those who might be found guilty of issuing or spreading false news, including via social media.
Those messages are part of an awareness campaign launched by Government through the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, following high instructions by the Head of State, His Excellency Paul Biya.
In today’s digital era, the role of social media in issuing and disseminating information and images in the public arena, especially in Cameroon has become critical. A common citizen possessing an appropriate mobile phone is usually the start point, or a relay in the chain of dissemination of an image or information. No matter whether the latter are true or false, they spread so rapidly that they end up impacting the public opinion and tarnishing the image of the country.
As much as social media contribute to the development of digital economy, which is so dear to the President of the Republic, and to economic, social and cultural development in general, the malicious use of social media with an aim to misinform and distort reality, is likely to create psychosis in the public opinion and to disrupt social cohesion.
It is therefore urgent that Cameroonians should adopt positive and responsible attitudes in using this modern tool of communication, which has now become a must.



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