Posted by: Pumelela Nqelenga on Sep 06, 2011
I thought when China sneezes, the world catches the cold but it seems the London madness has come down to eMzantsi with the BBM virus.
South African government are starting to panic with the Blackberry application and believe that criminal activities are done through this service.
Deputy Minister of Communications, Obed Bapela was reported to have said that, "There is evidence that criminals are now using BBM to plan and execute crime. We want to review BBM like in the UK and Saudi Arabia,"
The minister seems to be out of touch with South African social media culture and does not understand that London is totally different than, Durban or Kimberally or Cape Town.
The way in which we consume media and communicate in South Africa is far more different than how it is happening in the in the UK.
With more cell phone users using Mxit, why are we not regulating that social media rather than BBM users who seem to be far lesser than the Mxit camp?
It baffles me that we are starting to look at cyber-security rather than working on the real crimes that affect people in the real world.
If it is criminality you want and on cyberspace, the government should look no further than New24 comments on articles where hate speech thrives for many to read.
South Africa does have its own London riot, at least twice a year with strikes across the country. In fact our London riots are in the law in that people can vandalise the street in the name of ‘freedom of expression’.
The only difference we have with the Londoners is that we South Africans do not need to hide our faces when we do these crimes on the streets. In fact we create songs around them and toyi toyi the whole day.
Where was BBM? Nowhere, since majority of South Africans are at the lower end of the digital divide.
I understand the abuse of social media and its implications, but we need to stop injecting ourselves with panic and shock when we know pretty well that it does not always take a social media tool to cause harm to people.
It only takes people.