The Ghana Police Service does not have the power to shut down social media, the service’s Director of Public Affairs, Supt. Cephas Arthur has said.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), John Kudalor disclosed recently that the police was contemplating blocking all social media outlets as a means to ease tension as well as limit others who operate behind the networks to cause fear and panic.
“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,” Kudalor told the media then.
He again repeated the contemplation of the police on Monday October 24, whilst meeting with some Muslim leaders in the national capital.
Ghanaians, including the President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Affail Monney said the planned banning of social media is uncalled for.
Monney said Thursday May 26, that the ban would be inimical to effective journalism. He thus urged the police “not to go there” as social media are “cousins of the traditional media”.
But clarifying the stance of the police Tuesday in an interview with Class FM, Authur said the “Police have not said [they] will shut down social media on the day of elections” and that the IGP has categorically denied that fact as the police do not have the said power.
“Legally, we do not have that power to shut down social media but we can make an input as to which direction we should all take. The IGP can make a suggestion to the president and it will be up to him to take it or otherwise,” added Arthur.