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4 Afr. Hum. Rts. Y.B. 231 (2020)
Social Media and the Prohibition of 'False News': Can the Free Speech Jurisprudence of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights Provide a Litmus Test?

handle is hein.journals/ahry2020 and id is 247 raw text is: 

   Social media and the prohibition of 'false
   news': can the free speech jurisprudence of
   the  African Commission on Human and
   Peoples' Rights provide a litmus test?

   Aaronl  Olurniyi Saiau*

ABSTRACT: Based on free speech theories, international   human  rights law,
   opinions of human rights mechanisms  and scholars, this article argues that
   the  African  Commission   on  Human and Peoples' Rights (African
   Commission)  should  expand its 'traditional' free speech jurisprudence to
   meet the exigencies of adjudicating emergent cybercrime laws in Africa that
   criminalise 'fake news' on social media. While social media's expansion of
   opportunities to exercise the right to free speech and power to challenge
   dominant  discourses deepen  Africa's democratisation, its propensity for
   abuse  must  nonetheless  be  addressed.  Consequently,  many   African
   governments  have  interfered with internet access either during public
   protests or election periods and resorted to ill-conceived cybercrime laws
   that criminalise the communication of so-called 'fake news' on social media.
   Around  23  African states have cybercrime  laws  in place that contain
   provisions criminalising 'fake news'. These states include Botswana, Burkina
   Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo,  Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya,
   Malawi,  Nigeria, Tanzania, Togo   and  Uganda.  Despite  being unduly
   protective of high-ranking government officials, these criminal libel laws
   present many  conceptual and  legal difficulties. Nonetheless, the African
   Commission    can   resolve these   challenges  and   effectively tackle
   disinformation on social media through a creative interpretation of article 9
   of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights.


Interruption d'acces aux r6seaux sociaux et interdiction des fausses
informations  : la jurisprudence de la Commission africaine des droits de
1'homme  et des peuples sur la libert6 d'expression peut-elle fournir un test
RESUME:   En se fondant sur les thdories relatives a la libert6 d'expression, sur le droit
   international des droits de ihomme ainsi que sur les opinions des m6canismes des
   droits de ihomme et la doctrine, le prdsent article soutient que la Commission
   africaine des droits de ihomme et des peuples (Commission africaine) devrait 6tendre
   sa jurisprudence traditionnelle» sur la libert6 d'expression pour r6pondre aux
   exigences du contentieux sur les lois 6mergentes relatives a la cybercriminalit6 en
   Afrique qui criminalisent la publication de «fausses informations» sur les reseaux
   sociaux. Si il'argissement des possibilit6s offertes par les m6dias sociaux pour exercer
   le droit a la libert6 d'expression et le pouvoir de contester les discours dominants est
   une valeur ajout6e a la ddmocratisation en Afrique, sa propension aux abus doit
   n6anmoins &tre abord6e. Par consdquent, de nombreux gouvernements africains ont
   interfdr6 avec l'acces a internet pendant les manifestations publiques ou les p6riodes

*     PhD  (UCT), LLB, LLM   (OAU, Ile Ife), Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law,
      Department of Jurisprudence & International Law, Olabisi Onabanjo University
      (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Nigeria; niyisalau@yahoo.co.uk

AO Salau Social media and the prohibition of false news': can the free speech jurisprudence of the African Commission
                    on Human and Peoples' Rights provide a litmus test?'
                    (2020) 4 African Human Rights Yearbook 231-254

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