The Inspector General of Police (IGP) John Kudalor has announced the Ghana Police Service is considering blocking social media across the country on election day.

He is concerned that social media could be used as a tool for misinformation thus posing a danger to the nation’s security during the polls.

"At one stage I was even saying that if it becomes critical on the eve and the election day we shall block all social media as other countries have done. So we are thinking about it," John Kudalor said at a media interaction in Accra, Thursday.

In a later interview with Joy News, he said “If people are churning out the type of information which are quite false then why not? The security of this nation is paramount.” 

According to him, blacking out Facebook, Twitter and other media platforms is one of the several options under discussion.

The black-out, he said, would be less than 24 hours, from 7am to 5pm, which are the voting hours in Ghana.

The IGP said Ghana can learn from examples in other African countries which limited the use of social media on election day.

Uganda, in a surprise move, shut down social media on election day February 19, 2016. Voters woke up to realize their to access social media platforms has been cut.

Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni defended the ban as a "security measure to avert lies … intended to incite violence and illegal declaration of election results."

Several countries have interfered with or banned access to the social networking website Facebook, including Bangladesh, China, Iran, North Korea and Syria although the bans were not related to elections.

The impact of social media on elections has become a fascinating subject for research among social scientist. One study published in 2012 found that Facebook feeds have a significant impact on voting patterns.

In the US, political analysts have observed that social media could decide who wins the presidential elections in November.

 

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