THE Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) says it supports the enactment of the Cyber Security Bill to curb rising incidences of cyberbullying and Internet abuse.
In a statement, Thursday, IBA Board chairperson Mabel Mung’omba stated that the Authority was concerned about the rising incidences of cyber bullying, fake news, online rumours and general Internet abuse.
“IBA wishes to support the Cyber Security and Cyber Crimes Bill, 2021, which seeks to, among other things, provide for cyber security in the Republic, protection of persons against cybercrime, child online protection, and facilitate identification, declaration and protection of critical information infrastructure. The Authority is concerned about incidents of cyber bullying, fake news, online rumours and general internet abuse, which are on the rise and there is need to curtail such unfortunate trends. The IBA further notes that traditional media, unlike social media platforms, have instituted gate-keeping processes/mechanisms designed to preserve the integrity of the content channelled to the public,” Mung’omba stated.
“We wish to encourage all broadcasting stations that utilise the Internet to do so in a professional manner and adhere to the same guidelines that they follow when they write news for traditional media. The Authority has noted with regret that most social media users pay no regard to the negative impact of the messages they post, which may have far-reaching consequences on the victims. It is unfortunate that most of the victims of these attacks are women, girls and children who may not have the means of defending themselves. In this regard, we urge all stations to avoid reporting that promotes gender stereotypes.”
Mung’omba cautioned broadcasting stations to be careful in the manner they used online platforms.
“In the same vein, the IBA would like to caution broadcasting stations to be careful in the manner they use online platforms as sources of information to promote a pluralistic broadcasting industry in Zambia through fair, transparent and effective regulation. The Authority, therefore, wishes to support government’s efforts aimed at stopping cyber bullying, fake news, online rumours and general Internet abuse. To this effect, the IBA supports and acknowledges the sensitisation campaign and walk from Lusaka to Livingstone by Captain Thokozile Muwamba and others, which was aimed at sensitising creating public awareness against cyber bullying, fake news, online rumours and general internet abuse,” stated Mung’omba.