MACRA hopes Facebook will help Malawi fight online abuse

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Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has expressed hope that Facebook will help authorities in the country fight cybercrime and online abuse.

Speaking after a meeting which Facebook, MACRA, Ministry of Information and Fiscal Police held in Blantyre on Wednesday, MACRA Director General Godfrey Itaye said they discussed ways of dealing with abuse on social media.

MACRA Director General Godfrey Itaye

“This will ensure that crimes committed on Facebook are dealt with appropriately,” Itaye told the press.

According to Fiscal Police Detective Joseph Nkuna, some of the reported crimes on Facebook include people’s accounts being hacked and users being abused by fellow users.

He expressed hope that the relationship that the police are building with Facebook will go a long way in keeping people behind the malpractice in check.

On his part, Facebook Africa Public Policy Manager for Access and Connectivity Kojo Boakye said they want many Malawians to be connected to the internet.

“We are making great investments to solve key infrastructure challenges and we are focusing on two areas; the first is bulk whole area, we laid 800 km of optic fibre in northern Uganda and we would like to replicate the same in other countries,” he said.

Boakye added that the company wants to invest in wireless infrastructure to connect rural areas of Malawi.

According to Boakye, Malawi has shown that it will provide an environment to facilitate the investment or infrastructure.

“It was about whether MACRA and government would be supportive to any effort we might undertake,” Boakye said.

The meeting is the first ever to take place among the parties and more meetings are expected to be held in the future to fast-track the whole process of investment.

There are also plans to introduce a Facebook security team to work hand in hand with Malawi Police Service in limiting social media abuse.

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