Yaounde will host, from November 8 to 9, an international forum on social media regulation, organized by the National Communication Council (NCC). The forum will be held under the theme "Social Media Regulation: Avenues for Cooperation between African media regulators and digital platforms.”
According to the NCC, the forum aims to build a general overview of the social media landscape and find appropriate solutions to tackle harmful content through a concerted approach between African and French-speaking media regulators on the one hand, and representatives of digital platforms (Meta, TikTok, Snapchat...) on the other.
The NCC believes that social networks need to be regulated in order to curb fake news, hateful content, and calls for insurrection or ethnic/religious hatred, all of which have disastrous consequences for society. "Social media can be a tool for our personal development, providing an interactive database, a framework for human creativity and intellectual innovation. But at the same time, they can offer a space for the expression of limitless freedom, with potentially damaging social consequences. Based on this observation, it is prudent for public authorities not to abandon the public space to a business model that transforms human beings into machines," the Cameroonian media regulator says.
For the institution, this regulation requires the implementation of regulatory procedures guaranteeing freedom of expression and access to information, while censoring illicit content likely to harm good social order. The forum will adopt an empirical and comparative methodology, drawing on the experience of countries that have already at least laid the foundations for the legal frameworks regulating social media.
It is expected to guide the decisions of African legislators in general, and Cameroonian legislators in particular, says the NCC. The regulator justifies this forum by the breakthrough of the Internet, which contributed to the widespread adoption of social media everywhere.
Patricia Ngo Ngouem