Effects of Social Media on National Security of Liberia

Category: Society
Date added
2021/10/20
Pages:  4
Words:  1054
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How it works

It is believed that information dissemination is the lifeline of any organization. It is a way for eliminating doubts about activities of an organization and achieving good governance. However, information dissemination can be used as a conduit by unscrupulous individuals to undermine or put a nation’s national security at harmsway by spreading falsehood, and this is done primarily via the media. Accordingly, the media can be used to achieve positive or negative intentions by individuals with respect to national security. The media represents public opinion. It is important to the way society functions. Newspapers, radio and television have been the principal means through which people obtain information. It can be debated however, that the media not only selectively inform about events or society but they actually shape them. (Fulcher and Scott) The media has been exercising real political influence on the public since the 18th Century in Europe. Since its early establishment, it has helped in revolutionizing the social and political climates of nation states. This has been achieved through its strong and outspoken criticism of unacceptable governments’ policies that have no positive impacts on the society.

Prior to Africa’s colonization and the spread of western education in that part of world, the traditional forms of communication that existed among the people used traditional methods such as drums to pass information with specific messages that was understood by the targeted audience. Those various means of communication have helped to shape the social and political landscape of Africa. In addition, the invention of transistors like radio in the 20th Century further facilitated in enabling the exchange of political ideas and to promote socio-political development.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) education, which became very prevalent in the early 2000s, is another platform that has further boosted socio-political advancement in Africa. The rapid growth in ICT has made instant links through telecommunications attainable using satellite which eventually turned the world into an information “global village.” ICT development has transformed the coding of information from analogue to digital. This has brought about the use of Wireless Frequency (Wi-Fi), Infra-red, and Bluetooth, thereby enabling cell phones, computer laptops, I-pads, multipurpose communication apparatus, with the capability of taking photographs, playing music, internet communications and even playing of games. Consequently, the social networking service has become a source of concern for national security.

Social networking service is an online service, platform, or site that focuses on enabling the building of social networks or social relations among people. Users of this platform share interests, activities, backgrounds, or real-life connections. The most well-known social networking websites are Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest. New websites are being developed regularly and they allow people connect and interact over the Web. With each of these sites, individuals can make new friends, build business connections, share information and videos. Social media has also become a veritable tool in the hands of criminals and insurgents for cybercrimes.

Cybercrimes have unbelievably risen to become a national concern as cyber threats need to be taken more seriously. Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network. Most of these crimes are carried out to either make profit for the cybercriminals. Some are carried out against computers or devices directly to damage or disable them, while others use computers or networks to spread malware, illegal information, images or other materials. Cyber space has become an essential part of contemporary information society. Enormous information is available in different layouts for end users. However, the real concern is not just with the spreading of inaccurate or misleading information, but with mischievous content and intent. The internet has long ceased to be the exclusive domain of technically knowledgeable users. User friendly software and interfaces enable all types of users including beginners and children to interact without a second thought. User friendly applications such as social networking sites allow users to share ideas, activities, events, and interests within their individual networks. This new terrain contains a hotcake of valuable information and of course potential victims.

There are several online news sources operated in the Liberian diaspora that receive information from sources inside the country. There is also unlimited access to Facebook, Twitter and other social media in the country, and majority of Liberians within all of the major cities and county capitals have access to smartphones including radio which are their sources of information. Accesses to these gadgets have increased social media activities over time, which grasped the attention of the government and caused the government to introduced the registration of sims of every individual owning cellphone on the basis of national security concerns.8 However, this decision by government has had no negative impact. Rather, the country has witnessed a growing used of the social media by many Liberians. Interestingly, many Liberians especially politicians are using the social networking platform as a conduit to express their views about the government something that is causing social disorder among the people.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The social media can be used to influence a country’s development and national security both positively and negatively. It is undoubtedly used by criminal minded individuals and insurgents as instrument to radicalize and recruit, spread propaganda, and use as a ground for training as has been witnessed in recent times. Extremists for example use chat rooms, dedicated servers, websites and social media tools as propaganda machines and to solicit funds through cybercrime. These websites and other internet services may be run by international terrorist groups or individual extremists. YouTube channels and Facebook pages of insurgent supporters may radicalize youth sympathizers and also provide a means for communication between them. This scenario presents grave danger for national security in a democratic and pluralistic society such as Liberia where national interest must always be the pursuit of national security. It is against this background that this study seeks to answer the following questions.

  • What is the relationship between the social media and national security Liberia
  • What are the issues associated with the social media in the pursuance of national security in Liberia
  • How has the social media affected Liberia’s national security
  • What are the challenges and the prospects for the social media impacting Liberia’s national security
  • What strategies can be adopted to stimulate the social media to enhance national security in Liberia
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Effects of Social Media on National Security of Liberia. (2021, Oct 20). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/effects-of-social-media-on-national-security-of-liberia/

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