Social media abuse has gotten out of hand and must be dealt with aggressively to stem the damage it is causing to society.
This scourge has reared its ugly head yet again through a video in which a man is standing on a bed all covered in Kwacha notes claiming the source is Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Dora Siliya, and the President.
The man is issuing threats to a politician alleging that he was paid to do so. Ms Siliya has dismissed any involvement in this and has sought action from authorities.
It is evident that many people do not understand the importance and use of social media.
Technological advancements, and social media in particular, play a vital role in human interactions and development.
Social media is a good tool for conducting progressive business transactions because it provides connectivity in real time.
Social media defies geographical barriers, thus providing for people in different geographical locations to interact and transact as though they were in one location.
Communication has been made easy. Even those who travel miles away from their families can still stay connected with so much ease.
Today we have people who take online studies cutting on costs that come with travel and physical learning.
Today people are able to share knowledge and ideas on various business ventures so easily.
These are just but a few of the many benefits that people can draw from social media.
If anything, social media has made the development agenda so easy to attain but this is only if people use it in the right and responsible manner.
It is saddening that despite the many benefits that social media offers, some people still choose to use it for all the wrong reasons.
This abuse of social media is evidently on the rise. It should be. It must be curbed and the earlier this is done, the better for everyone.
Skewed minded people are using social media to bully and scandalise others.
Today social media is characterised by fake news and defamatory statements against people, many of whom may not have the means or courage to defend themselves in fear of escalating mudslinging against them.
This does not have to be so. Everyone must feel free to be a public figure or indeed a private citizen.
There are also those with warped minds who use social media to corrupt the moral fibre of society by posting pornographic content.
As though that were not enough, others use social media to defraud users of their hard earned money.
And of late, we have noted a tendency by alleged cadres circulating videos in which they verbally abuse Government and political leaders.
They have the audacity to insult and make threats against leaders. Surely, this just cannot be allowed to continue without decisive action taken against them.
As a civilised society and a Christian one for that matter, Zambia should not tolerate such misconduct.
Zambia should not relegate itself to the Stone Age era in which those with brawn rather than brains dominate society.
As a country that is anchored on the rule of law, criminals must be brought to book. The digital space must be sanitized.
The onus is on the shoulders of Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) to do so. If the laws are inadequate, let’ us strengthen them.
We are aware that the Cyber Security Bill is in the offing. Among its various objectives, let that on abuse of social media be appropriately addressed.
The bill, which was recently approved by cabinet when enacted into law, should help sanitise the digital space.
Law-makers should not drag their feet but expedite the process of enacting the bill into law.
For now, let ZICTA and other law enforcement agencies use the available laws to curb the rampant abuse.
Let those who abuse social media with impunity be visited by the long arm of the law.