I HAVE no intention to undermine the freedom of expression under our Constitution but to let you appreciate that freedom is subject to qualifications in the interest of the common good of all people.
As a citizen and one who has full knowledge about this law, I want to caution all users of Facebook and other social media platforms to be very careful and be aware of the existence of the recently-passed Cyber Crime Code Act, which the Government has passed to control the abuse and irresponsible use of social media.
Recently, I have seen and read a lot of publications by individuals in various social media that I consider very damaging and directly in breach of the relevant provisions of the law.
The main platform I see such breaches is Facebook.
I have observed that many post are rather politically motivated in disguise for the sake of advocating against corruption as a cover to destroy ones reputations.
Those involved in such practices might be able to get away with that if they have substantial proof.
However, if such publications are prompted by politics and if they are based mostly on stories told without any hard evidence, I caution those who post to be very careful with what they post.
I am warning you to stop.
If you are a “desktop warrior”, you must know you have been in constant breach of the cybercrime law and its provisions are very draconian.
You will soon experience it if you get arrested.
I have also noted that there is a high volume of assertions that are mere assumptions.
This is dangerous.
Publications that have been read by countless number of people which are based on assumptions are serious once measured and processed under the law.
The general law is that when one commits the criminal offence of defamation, it would be measured against the existing Defamation Act as a physical offence.
However, since this will be an offence punishable under the new Cyber Crime Code Act, alleged offenders will hardly get away if they’re caught on the wrong side of the law.
I caution social media users to be very careful.
Former Deputy Secretary,
Department of Communication