PM concerned over vulgar social media

By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 21 June 2024, 10:00PM

Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa has voiced apprehension regarding the prevalence of crude language on social media platforms to express opinions and discuss issues. 

During an interview with Radio Samoa on a recent trip to Hawai’i, Fiame highlighted the growing problem of individuals resorting to vulgarity to convey their viewpoints and to defame others.

While acknowledging the importance of free expression and differing opinions, Fiame underscored her concerns about the detrimental impact such language can have, particularly on young people. 

Despite recognising the challenge of regulating social media, which is predominantly managed by foreign companies, Fiame emphasised the need to address the issue responsibly.

"As leaders, we must consider how we can mitigate the negative effects of language used on social media," Fiame remarked, emphasising the importance of respectful discourse even amid disagreements.

Addressing her visibility in media interviews, Fiame clarified that her government operates under a policy where ministers are primarily responsible for announcing developments and decisions within their portfolios. 

She emphasised the government's commitment to keeping the public informed through various channels, including the government newspaper.

She mentioned that her Cabinet Ministers were advised to announce updates and decisions on their portfolios, except in cases of national importance.

She cited the recent launch of the Anti-Corruption framework, stating it was a national matter requiring her announcement due to its significance. 

Fiame also explained her reluctance to comment on matters sub judice, stating that once issues reach the courts, she refrains from making public statements as it is the court's prerogative to decide on legal matters.

She reiterated her stance of not influencing public opinion on ongoing legal cases, urging her Cabinet members to similarly exercise restraint.

During the celebration of World Press Freedom Day in Samoa last month, Fiame assured media professionals in Samoa of her support for a free press and pledged to hold regular press conferences to ensure transparency and accountability within her administration.

By Sialai Sarafina Sanerivi 21 June 2024, 10:00PM
Samoa Observer

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