NMC advocates framework  to sanitise social media space
George Sarpong — Executive Secretary, NMC

NMC advocates framework to sanitise social media space

The Executive Secretary of the National Media Commission (NMC), George Sarpong, has advocated a regulatory framework  to sanitise the social media space.

This he said will help reduce to the barest minimum, misinformation and its negative impact on the country’s peace and democracy.

Speaking at a public forum on the theme, “misinformation, peace and Democratic consolidation in Ghana" in Accra last Wednesday, Mr Sarpong however said such a regulation when developed must be consistent with the letter and spirit of the 1992 Constitution in order to consolidate the gains made in the country's democracy.

He further called on Civil Society Organisations(CSOs), and other relevant actors to lead the agenda to help build a consensus on the kind of regulatory framework the country would need to bring about standards in generation of content on social media.

The forum was organised by the Media Foundation for West Africa(MFWA) in collaboration with the National Peace Council(NPC) and the NMC with funding from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in London.


Mr Sarpong, who was delivering a keynote address, equally explained that regulating content on social media and the Internet had become so crucial now because “the world has come to the realisation that we cannot continue to lie to ourselves about the scourge that social media has brought".

He further warned that “ we have a choice to sit and pretend that this is something we cannot do anything about that will be consistent with us in Ghana...because the exciting reality is that, the only time things change is when tragedy strikes".

The Executive Secretary said the country should not allow any “blood to drop” before addressing the negative impact of social media on the peace and stability of the country.

NMC steps

He indicated that knowing where the nation was going and long before Germany developed its Network Enforcement Act, the NMC had put together standards for content on electronic communication but on November 30, 2016 the Supreme Court of the land struck it out because it said it was unconstitutional.

Mr Sarpong said six months after that, Germany passed its Act which had now become a standard for regulating social media.

He stressed the need for legislations to be tailored to protect national security, public order, morality and the protection of the reputation of individuals.


He disabused the minds of Ghanaians about the perception that regulating social media in a democratic environment was not possible.

He mentioned some European countries such as Germany and France that were committed to regulating social media and thus demonstrated the possibility of sanitising that space.

Threat to peace

The Omanhene of Asante Asokore and Board Member of the NPC, Prof. Nana S.K.B. Asante, who chaired the event, said misinformation and disinformation posed a great threat to national peace and stability.

“Despite this liberal regime we have cause to be worried about certain unwholesome developments in the media space within the past thirty years; misinformation is a glaring example" he noted.


The Deputy National Security Coordinator, Timothy Coleman, commended MFWA for organising the event saying it had come at a time when some media practitioners were beginning to sacrifice fact-checking and other ethical values in order to be first in the news.

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