Botswana Commemorates Safer Internet Day 2018

Safer Internet Day is a commemorative day promoting the safe and fair usage of the internet as people using the internet. The internet, popularly known as the World Wide Web is a vast space with no end, where almost anything can be done at least virtually. Over the years there has been quick development and uptake of it with new things that weren’t seen or known being birthed and most of what was known being transformed to be more efficient and far reaching than before.

Social media has been amongst the greatest developments housed in the World Wide Web that many have been accustomed to. The 2018 theme for the commemoration of the Safer Internet Day was set at “Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you”. The Botswana Information Technology Society (BITS) and their collaboration with the Law Society of Botswana (LSB) hosted a commemorative session which was broken into two parts. The first was a debate session between senior secondary school students under the set theme. Ledumang Senior Secondary School progressed to the finals to face St. Joseph’s College where the former emerged the victor, claiming the first prize.

A second session of panel discussions commenced thereafter featuring seasoned industry experts from the legal fraternity to discuss “Social media and the Law in Botswana”. The advent of technology has brought in both good and bad, said the master of ceremony Ms. Gaongalelwe Mosweu and this is what inspired the panel discussion topic. Social media is a part of the internet and with the law meant to govern social interactions between people, as said by Mr. Stephen Tiroyakgosi, Director of Public Prosecutions. Aongst him were Dr. Tiro Mogotlhwane, Dr. Molatlhegi and Dr. Tachilisa Balula, IT and law experts respectively, deliberating on the effects the two, social media and the law, have o each other.

The last panel discussion had Mr. Richard Harriman of Consumer Watchdog and Mr. Kealeboga Dihutso, a strategic communications consultant and media representative sharing their views on the various issues raised on social media. “For a change, we ought to look at social media in a positive light”, said Mr. Dihutso who sees opportunities in social media, something that Botswana has not fully harnessed. A closing comment by Mr. Harriman added to Mr. Dihutso’s view when he cited a recent event on social media that has since led to an increase in the awareness of blood donation and set to drive blood donation locally. A positive thing that only adds on the many reasons why social media actually is a good thing.