Few Basotho support govt regulation of access to Internet

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Only about one-third of Basotho support government regulation of access to the Internet and social media, according to a recent Afrobarometer survey.

The pan-African research network says a slim majority favour unrestricted access, which they believe helps users become more informed and active citizens.

The Lesotho Communications Authority has proposed new rules requiring social-media users to obtain an Internet broadcasting allowance if they have 100 or more followers or post material accessible to at least 100 Internet users in the country.

Critics have slammed the proposed rules as a government attempt to regulate online speech. Among Basotho who have heard of social media, a majority say the platform has both good and bad effects, though its overall impact is more widely seen as positive than negative

More than half (51%) of Basotho “agree” or “strongly agree” that access to the Internet and social media helps people to be more informed and active citizens, and should be unrestricted. About one-third (35%) support regulation of access by the government.

A majority (55%) of Basotho say they have heard about social media. Awareness of social media is high in cities (73%), among younger citizens (80% of those aged 18-25), and among those with a secondary (75%) or post-secondary (85%) education

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