South African Minister calls on Meta to set the stage for a more meaningful partnership

South Africa implores Meta to attend to the many issues, including the spread of fake news, which has been plaguing the Facebook accounts of many African leaders.

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During an engagement between Meta and the South African Government Communication and Information System (GCIS), Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni accused Meta of employing a double standard when managing the accounts of leaders in developing countries like those in Africa and those in the developed world. The Minister pinpointed examples of critical issues faced by her government due to the platform’s inadequacies. Specific emphasis was placed on the proliferation of fake news and misinformation and the security risks these pose to national and political security, particularly in light of upcoming national elections next year. 

On the flip side, during the deliberations, presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya underscored the importance of having transparent, two-way, face-to-face communication between the government and the people and the need to depend less on media for outreach.

Why does it matter?

Given the role Meta and other social media tech giants play in the socio-political arena, forming meaningful, symbiotic relationships with governments across the globe will not only provide a higher level of human security on these platforms, but such collaborations can embed trust in the framing and installment of standards and practices for social media usage.