You may have heard Patricia de Lille speaking out on MXit and Blogging over the last few days. Well she was on 702/Cape Talk radio last night. I tuned in towards the tail end of the conversation. Dave Duarte, a blogger, stepped in to defend freedom of expression with blogging. I called in to make the listeners aware of the Parents Guide to MXit. And more importantly about the importance of education. One thing that you as a user should demand is that your service provider, whether cellphone, mobile or Internet based does more to educate the public at large.
The banks in South Africa, for example, have been suffering from increasing attacks of what is called phishing. They have posted some notices on their websites but I have seen little else in the form of reassuring the public. MXit has since responded to Patricia de Lille’s outrages request to have blogging and MXit regulated.
It is extremely difficult to regulate blogging because it’s on the Internet or rather the World Wide Web. As Herman Heunis, CEO of MXit Lifestyle said in his response to de Lille, even China with it’s massive investment in online censorship with firewalls, proxys and filters, cannot prevent all their citizens from speaking out. They successfully block a large portion but users or the community will always find a way to make it’s voice heard.
So what is your response to this as parents, citizens or some other stakeholder. My advice is that you apply more pressure on government to make basic computer literacy compulsory for all teachers, learners, civil servants. That is a good starting point. Next you can request from your ISP or favourite website that they support this online safety action campaign. All they have to do is start by putting a link to this website. They can also publish safety tips which I will gladly source for them to ensure it’s appropriate to their audience.