Cabinet Orders Ministers, CEOs To Open Social Media Accounts
Cabinet has directed all appointees of government to setup quick response measures, including active social media accounts,through which distortions and lies in public domain against government and its officials can be dealt with in a “timeous” manner.
In a letter dated October 20, 2022, issued and signed by the Chief of Staff, Akosua FremaOsei-Opare, Cabinet demanded the establishment of a “Government response system, to address various issues in the public domain, particularly, in respect of attempts to distort issues or misinform the public.”
The two-page letter, sighted by The Anchor late last week, wants all appointees, including ministers andchief executive officers, to ensure they respond to allegations and claims against them and the institutions they head within hours of publication.
“All Government appointees, including Ministers and Chief Executive Officers, should provide comprehensive response to allegations made in the public domain within 12 hours of the allegation being brought to their attention. The Government appointee concerned should work with the Minster for Information to disseminate the response,” it stated.
According to the Chief of Staff, appointees and institutions without social media presence are also ordered to setupan active one, with assistance from the Ministerof Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah.
These accounts are expected to push and promote activities of government and these government institutions.
“All Government appointees, including Ministers and Chief Executive Officers, should have an active social media presence.
“Those who are not present on social media should contact the Ministry of Information to assist in setting up social media accounts. These accounts should promote Government activities, as well as the activities of the institutions to enable them to respond timeously to issues,” Cabinet directed.
It is also demanding that, these appointees, including ministers, also make themselves available for radio and television engagements and discussions concerning government activities and that of their sectors.
It instructed that these responses are done especially on media platforms that are favourable to the administration across the country, urging that “Government institutions should patronize our media assets across the country.”
It added: “The Minister of Information is working with the Minister for Communications and Digitalization to come up with a list and programme, and will share it with Government appointees.”
The directive, copied to all ministers and political appointees, follows a Cabinet meeting earlier this month.
The leaked letter read in parts: “Cabinet, on its last meeting held on 6th October, 2022, discussed the need to establish a Government response system to address various issues in the public domain, particularly, in respect of attempts to distort issues or misinform the public.”
It is unclear what triggered the move, but mixed public reactions have greeted the directive, after it got leaked on the internet.
While some say, it is the way to deal with issues of misinformation,especially at this era of technology, others are unsure the appropriateness of it, with claim that the initiative is merely for PR works.
One of such persons who expressed disappointment about the directive is the Member of Parliament (MP) for the North Tongu constituency, Samuel OkudzetoAblakwa.
Mr. Ablakwa, who is the ranking member on the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament, described the two-page statement as “alarming andridiculous.”
The MP and former Deputy Minister of Education, said, “It’s most alarming & ridiculous, to discover per this intercepted circular from Prez Akufo-Addo to his Ministers & other appointees that he really believes the solution to the abysmal output of his gov’t lies in PR & active social media accounts of his appointees. We’re doomed!”