Zambia said on Thursday it will introduce tough new laws to regulate social media use to fight cyber-crime and combat the consumption of pornography in the conservative African country.
Communication Minister Brian Mushimba told parliament that some Zambians were using social media to commit identity theft, send pornographic images and spread hate speech.
“It is evident that social media in Zambia has become a catalyst for the detachment of members of the Zambian society from our cultural norms,” Mushimba said.
“Prior to the proliferation of social media, people in Zambia behaved and communicated within acceptable and expected cultural boundaries.”
He said that the new laws, which have yet to be drafted or debated by parliament but would come into force next year, would reduce the number of Zambians who fall victim to identity theft.
“Incidents of impersonations, people being insulted, abused, falsely accused or defrauded on social media platforms have reached an alarming state,” said Mushimba.
He added that the new law would introduce penalties for those abusing online social media but did not elaborate on how the laws would be enforced.