Are South Sudanese slowly embracing a hate-speech-free environment on Social Media?

On 12th November 2019, the SPLM and the SPLM-IO in South Sudan were scheduled to sign a Power Sharing agreement which is set to usher in a unity government between the South Sudan government and the opposition. Prior to the designated date, many South Sudanese took to social media to demonstrate their anticipation on what would transpire in November. Unlike previous negative trends noticed in the country’s social media use, what stood out this time around was the fact that most social media users were calling for unity, peace and vigilance when sharing information to minimise the occurrence of hate speech and misinformation during the transition period.

After the signing of the unity government was postponed by a 100 days, South Sudanese yet again took to social media and the excitement of the “countdown” by far precedes that of the initial signing of the agreement. Still, social media users and posts continue to be positive and call for the maintenance of peace while South Sudan waits for the 100 days to elapse. Some social media users are even incorporating humour in their posts, which most often than not, diffuses tension. In spite of the majority of positive social media posts, some South Sudanese have expressed their skepticism and distrust that they have in their leaders and their ultimate respective agendas.

#DefyHateNow Take of the Week: Social media platforms can play a crucial part in changing the current South Sudan landscape. Therefore, the cautious use of social media currently being observed ought to be encouraged at all costs by various stakeholders.   

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