The South African Vice-President urges political parties to use social media responsibly, especially during this election period.Paul Mashatile was speaking at the opening of the ceremony launch of the principles and guidelines for the use of digital and social media in African elections. South Africa has scheduled the seventh general and provincial elections for the 29th of May. Paul Mashatile stated that he recognizes the predominant role that social networks play in formation of public opinion and the establishment of the narratives that drive the electoral environment. However, Mashatile noted that the incorrect use of social media, through the dissemination of false information, constitutes a threat to South Africa’s democracy, because it can undermine trust around the electoral process.” As we witness the increasing use of these platforms in political campaigns, it is imperative that we establish clear principles and guidelines to ensure a fair, transparent and inclusive electoral process. Furthermore, it is essential to use social media constructively to inform and disseminate positive messages about the elections, with special attention to Africa’s youth. We have an obligation to educate our population about the risks associated with spreading incorrect information, especially with regard to elections, as false allegations can undermine confidence in the electoral process and cause a wave of instability in our countries. Misinformation is a threat to democracy, undermines confidence in elections and has the potential to discourage voter participation in voting”, – South African Vice-President speaking on the topic of the fast-paced digital world of modern times and its impact on electoral activities.Paul Mashatile appealed to political parties not to get involved in conflicts during the ongoing electoral campaign.(RM Pretoria)Source:Rádio Moçambique Online

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