According to Mr. Amertogoh, increased monitoring of social media platforms by the police in Ghana would counter any potential threats and also render a total shutdown of social media services unnecessary.
“The police should have online presence. They should have a department for this particular election for social media. They should educate people as to what and what not to do. And when you break the law, they should arrest you and have you prosecuted,” he suggested.
His comments come after revelations by the Inspector General of Police, John Kudalor that a social media blackout on November 7 was being considered as a way to counter the activities of potential ‘troublemakers’ who might disrupt the election process using these platforms. John Kudalor believes that the move might become necessary should the activities of social media ‘bullies and trolls’ intensify ahead of the polls in November.
“At one stage I said that if it becomes critical on the eve and also on the election day, we shall block all social media as other countries have done. We’re thinking about it,” IGP Kudalor told the media on Thursday.
The utterances of the police chief have been widely criticised as social media and human rights activists, the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) and the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) have suggested that such an action might amount to the suppression of free speech and compromise the country’s democratic credentials.
Maximus Ametorgoh suggested that the police could take advantage of the benefits offered by social media and seek help from users to sanitise the various platforms.
“With online presence, the users of social media can help the police sanitise the information on social media to make sure that if anyone churns out wrong information, they will be reported to the Ghana Police Facebook page who can crosscheck and follow up on it,” he said.