Juba, January 17, 2017 (SSNA) — South Sudanese citizens have been accused of using social media to incite violence, a report published in the US-based Buzzfeed revealed.
In a report titled, “How to use Facebook and fake news to get people to murder each other,” was originally published last Sunday. The text named government employees, journalists, and websites it claims help orchestrated campaigns of violence on Facebook and Twitter. The report says most of the news spread on the social media are bogus, warning fake news and hate speech have “deadly consequences.”
Among the individuals named in the report are Former BBC Journalist Mading Ngor, Gordon Buay Malek who works as a diplomat at South Sudan’s embassy in Washington, pro-government National Courier journalist Ayuel Maluak Ayuel Atem, Talk of Juba online editor Adhieu Majok also known as Sisi Majok, rapper Emmanuel Jal, among others. The document also implicated africanspress.org blog, MirayaFM Facebook page, the Juba-based newspaper, the Dawn, among others.
The report states that Gordon Buay posts hate-inciting messages last year, claiming it is lawful for South Sudan’s government to kill people in Western Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria regions if those citizens turn against the government, asserting that the practice has been used in the past by many countries.
Last year, a UN panel of experts identified Mading Ngor and Gordon Buay as “key pro-government agitators” against the United Nations. The two men are also citizens of Canada.
In the report, Buzzfeed states MirayaFM social media posts have been confusing to many people, particularly South Sudanese. The described africanspress.org as “extremist website,” saying the blog reports stories from trusted news sources, but repurposed with “inflammatory headlines.”
The report further alleged that Ayuel Atem of the National Courier tweeted and posted messages, claiming the “United Nations had killed South Sudanese troops by firing on armored vehicles and burning them alive inside” and that his messages were later found to be incorrect.
Buzzfeed says the Dawn newspaper which is owned by government security operatives once published fake CIA documents purporting to reveal a US-backed plan to overthrow South Sudanese government.
The South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) has learned that #DefyHateNow, a Berlin-based research group, and Washington, DC-based Peace Tech Lab nonprofit help tracking and combating social media activities of South Sudanese.
The document reveals that Peace Tech Lab helps cataloging “a lexicon of hate speech terms used by South Sudanese online during the war, including slurs targeting specific ethnicities,” adding that #DefyHateNow, helps in tracking and combating online hate speech in South Sudan.
The report notes hate campaigns have been waged by both sides to the conflict, pointing out that one of the biggest government propagandas was waged in July last year when it was clear the UN Security council was set to authorize the deployment of additional 4,000 peacekeepers. The report also added that social media groups owned or dominated by one tribe have also involved in inciting hate speech.